Construction Starting Soon on Jersey Avenue Extension into Liberty State Park

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Jersey City To Liberty State Park Bridge Extension
Plans to extend Jersey Avenue over Mill Creek with a vehicular bridge are moving forward. The existing footbridge (seen in the lower right) is currently the only direct route from DTJC to Liberty State Park. Photo by Darrell Simmons/Jersey Digs.

Following several years of planning, a project that hopes to better connect Downtown Jersey City with one of the Garden State’s most popular parks is finally slated to move forward later this month.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority recently announced that construction of a new roadway that will extend Jersey Avenue’s southern terminus into Liberty State Park will commence sometime in August. The project has been in the works for almost half a decade and will cost the Authority around $10 million to complete.

Jersey Avenue Extension Liberty State Park Jersey City 1
Jersey Avenue extension. Plan New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The road itself will connect over the Mill Creek portion of the Morris Canal via a bridge that’s set to include one vehicular lane in each direction plus a sidewalk and bike lanes. The roadway would give motorists a shortcut to Liberty State Park from Downtown Jersey City and vice versa, as the park is only accessible from Downtown on foot. The Ethel Pesin Liberty Footbridge, which was rebuilt following extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy, is currently the only direct link between the areas.

Liberty State Park Jersey Avenue Extension
Liberty State Park. Photo by Darrell Simmons/Jersey Digs.

The new road, which will have a portion inside the park called Mill Creek Lane, will connect with the already existing roadways of Audrey Zapp Drive and Johnston and Phillip Streets, an intersection that is set to get a new traffic light installed. The road will have a 25-mph speed limit and get new wayfinding signage as well. Lighting and crosswalk improvements are slated for the project, which will maintain pedestrian and bicycle access via the footbridge throughout the construction.

Jersey Avenue Extension Liberty State Park Jersey City 2
Jersey Avenue extension. Plan New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Plans for the roadway bridge have historically faced some opposition from Downtown residents, who feared it would encourage commuters to use local streets for access to the Holland Tunnel. The roadway project is getting built in a neighborhood where a population increase seems likely; the 392-unit 88 Regent development has already broken ground nearby and a massive project from Quadrum Global has been proposed for several parcels near the road.

While it remains to be seen how many new residents will be added to the area, the Turnpike Authority hopes to have the extension project completed by December 2021. When finished, control of the roadway will be turned over to Jersey City.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I applaud this move as that road should have been built at least 10 years ago. Unfortunately, all the new construction is the problem. Current residents won’t be able to stop the traffic from coming as it’s been coming for the last 20 or 30 years. It’s all the new buildings going up that will create the already congested area to get worse. I moved to Jersey City 16 years ago and I cannot believe my eyes to what I see now. I have since moved out but drive in daily due to work. Breaks my heart that they advertise this city as the place to be as it’s so close to Manhattan but half the time you can’t even get there with all the problems arising from NJ Transit and the local congestion.

    • Not to worry! They’re making Jersey City great again! Haven’t you been reading Val’s comments about the splendid water views? Never mind that it takes a hour and half to get there. PATH is pouring billions into upgrades to make everything better. And I’m sure executives at the Port Authority will give themselves a big fat raise for all their exemplary and hard work. And think of the yachts, the yachts! Five hundred stinking rich people will now have easy access to the marina. Everything is under control. They’re making JC great again! /S

      • Yeah, Val’s comments are all about progressing our city forward… so terrible, huh(sarcasm). And yeah I love this. It’s way over due…

  2. Why is this good!! Foot traffic and bikers have a great route to the park without the worry of cars! Motorists already have multiple ways to get into the park. Just another example of our culture of cars where cars get priority over all else!! This is totally unneeded. Absolutely insane.

  3. FINALLY!!! It’s about time this was done. For those worried about cyclists (I am a cyclist) and pedestrians, there is nothing stopping a design allowing safe access for them on the same bridge. What I would additionally love to see is a drawbridge of sorts at the Hudson river side for pedestrians and cyclists, to allow access there. It’s a sad oversight, and leaves the park hugely underutilized, by having the hard mile-long barrier of the Marina preventing casual access by non vehicular visitors.

  4. People complaining about this need to get a grip. This reflexive anti-progress mentality is absolutely absurd.

    First of all, the current walk from where Jersey Avenue ends through the footbridge into the park is super sketchy and feels like a no-man’s land. Why anyone would oppose a brand-new road including sidewalks and bike lanes is totally beyond me.

    Secondly, this will create an alternate route for cyclists and pedestrians trying to get from Bergen/Lafayette into downtown avoiding the dangerous Grand Street. So we’re now opposed to great connectivity between neighborhoods as well??

  5. The person who wrote this article has never been to Jersey City, or are being paid by a car company or someone else. There is a light rail station in the park. There is also a bus service. The light rail has several stops in downtown Jersey City. This is not a good idea. When I could still afford to live in downtown Jersey city, in Hamilton Park, I would bike into the park. Get out of your fucking cars and walk people.

  6. Chris Fry : “Plans for the roadway bridge have historically faced some opposition from Downtown residents, who feared it would encourage commuters to use local streets for access to the Holland Tunnel.”

    Some opposition??

    You might want to get your reporting right. Try …. HEAVY … opposition. All the neighborhood downtown associations have been against this project for over 35 years. We all know what is going to happen. Rivers of commuter cars getting off at this exit in order to avoid the extension bridge into the Holland Tunnel. Rivers of commuter cars streaming into every street: Jersey, Barrow, Henderson|Marin, Monmouth, Varick trying to get to the Holland Tunnel.

    For a tiny amount of $10 million dollars the Turnpike has bought a lifetime exit that the City of Jersey City has to maintain.

    This was a deal made with the devil and the residents now and in the future of downtown will have to pay for it.

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