Input from the public over whether a multi-billion dollar plan to bring major changes to Interstate 78 between Port Newark and the Holland Tunnel should be granted environmental permits is due this week.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is accepting comments only by mail through January 7 regarding the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s proposed Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension Program, according to a public notice.
The notice says that the program would involve everything from constructing a new eight-lane Newark Bay Bridge between Newark and Bayonne to replacing I-78’s “viaduct structure” between the Christopher Columbus Drive exit and Jersey Avenue in Jersey City.
Bridges would also be replaced between Exit 14A for Route 440 in Bayonne and Christopher Columbus Drive, allowing for this part of I-78 to have three lanes in each direction.
The existing Newark Bay Bridge dates back more than 65 years and like much of I-78 in Hudson County, it includes two lanes in each direction. This corridor is one of two main routes for drivers traveling between Lower Manhattan and points west and south of Jersey City.
The Turnpike Authority estimates that the design and construction of the project would cost $4.7 billion. Work would not begin for at least four more years.
“The Department of Environmental Protection welcomes comments and any information that you may provide concerning the proposed development and site,” the notice says.
Statements can reportedly be mailed to the Division of Land Resource Protection at P.O. Box 420, Code 501-02A, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.