Contract Awarded for Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Renovation in Jersey City

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Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Renovation New Rendering Jersey City
Latest look and feel of renovation plan of the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, finally set to begin this spring 2021. Rendering released by the City of Jersey City.

An endeavor to bring a proper plaza to one of Jersey City’s top destinations has been years in the making and is set to finally start construction in April following action from the council.


The history of the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza goes back to 2015, when a stretch of the road west of Grove Street was shut down to vehicular traffic. The green paint that designated the road for those on foot was later expanded one block west to Jersey Avenue in 2018.

Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Jersey City Existing
Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

The current plaza was always intended to be temporary and Jersey City brought in Red Bank-based Maser Consulting to design a permanent version that was originally slated to cost $4 million. The most major portion of their plan involved raising the two blocks of roadway to match the sidewalk while replacing the road’s blacktop with granite paver plaza surfacing.

Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza Redesign Rendering Night
Newark Avenue at night. Rendering courtesy Maser Consulting.
Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza Renovation Rendering
Rendering courtesy Maser Consulting.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced in a Facebook live video that the plan would break ground in December 2019, but unexplained delays followed by the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to derail the project. But our exclusive scoop from late last year indicated that work to overhaul the plaza would begin in spring 2021.

Jersey City’s council made that official on February 10, voting 7-1 to approve a resolution that awards a contract to Rahway-based J.C. Contracting. The company will receive almost $6.7 million from the city’s capital account for their work, as they were the lowest of nine public bidders on the project.

Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza Redesign Rendering
Pavers will be installed to raise the former roadway to sidewalk height. Rendering courtesy Maser Consulting.
Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza Redesign Rendering 2
Newark Avenue at Barrow Street. Rendering courtesy Maser Consulting.

“The creation of the pedestrian plaza was a risk our administration took when first elected as there was significant pushback, but I think over time it has become clear to everyone that the changes we made there have attracted more people, allowed more businesses to open, and created a destination spot for visitors and residents,” Mayor Fulop said in a statement.

Besides the granite pavers, other components of the overhaul include trench drains, sidewalk resurfacing, new lighting, street trees with green infrastructure including rain gardens, illuminated benches, moveable furniture, and decorative planters. A permanent stage for community events will also be constructed as part of the work.

Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza Redesign Plan
Jersey City pedestrian plaza redesign overview as of fall 2019. Plan courtesy Maser Consulting.

The latest investment in the plaza will create additional restaurant seating and more room for foot traffic. Some specifics that are confirmed for the plaza via the contract include the installation of six flag poles, 46 benches, information kiosks, and 16 bike racks.

The contract approved by the council dictates that work on the project must be completed within 183 calendar days, or about six months. Based on that timeline, the final version of the plaza should open sometime in the fall.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like a great idea as this is an ideal location for a pedestrian plaza. Not sure going with the lowest bid is the best way to do it if it means cutting corners on the final quality of the job. I’d be curious to know what exactly the other bids entailed. A similar project ( perhaps 2 to 3 times the size of this one) at Union Sq in NYC was estimated to cost $100 million.

  2. I would significantly lower expectations if comparing to a Union Square renovation. It’ll look nice but in a cheap HGTV “Flip or Flop” renovation kinda way. I’m sure everything will be generic Home Depot purchases but put together nicely by a designer who excels at putting lipstick on a pig.

    Still a nice addition and will definitely perk up some New Yorkers who Stevie is targeting.

  3. I doubt very much if the contractor will purchase the majority of materials, such as the pavers, from Home D. The planters and benches will most likely be custom fabricated. I’m more concerned about how the prep and drainage work will be put together. If it’s not done right ( like the horrible paver job at the Journal Sq PATH Plaza) that charming streetscape is going to bust up like a box of old, dry Saltine crackers after a few NE winters and burning hot summers.

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