Improvements Could Come to the Manhattan Avenue Wall

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Manhattan Avenue Wall Union City
Manhattan Avenue Wall, Union City. Image via Weehawken Historical Commission.

While traveling in Union City to or from Hoboken’s 14th Street on Manhattan Avenue, the South Wing Viaduct, or the North Wing Viaduct, you will likely notice the massive retaining walls that separate the roadway from the cliffs of the Palisades. However, these walls that are passed by thousands of drivers and pedestrians on a daily basis have seen better days. Built over a century ago back when Union City was known as West Hoboken, a portion of this aging wall collapsed in 2007 onto the street during a storm. Although the part that collapsed 11 years ago has since been rebuilt, officials are now looking to improve the rest of the structure.

The Newark-based North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) is beginning a Local Concept Development Study in order to “improve the wall’s structural deficiencies and maintain the road.” The study is being conducted in partnership with Hudson County, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and French & Parrello Associates of Wall Township, according to the project website, and aims to figure out what should be done with sections of the wall that are “in desperate need of repair, reconstruction or remediation due to major defects and structural deterioration involving vegetation growth, cracks, deteriorated joints, missing stones, seepage, bulging and leaning.”

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The project has already included the removal of vegetation from the structure, and there are plans for field surveys, mapping, testing, and a terrestrial laser scan. The project is expected to be completed next summer following the completion of the $659,000 study.

An “information center meeting” will be held this week in order to give residents and commuters more information about the project and to obtain feedback, according to a legal notice. The meeting will be conducted at the performing arts theater within Union City High School on Wednesday, April 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 7:00 p.m. In addition, for residents who pass by the wall but cannot make the meeting, input will be accepted online until May 17.

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