Following almost five years of closure on account of a massive infrastructure rehabilitation, a newly revamped pier and greenspace has restored continuous public access along Jersey City’s Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.
On September 3, a stretch of the walkway about 182 feet long through the city’s Newport neighborhood became accessible once again. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has spent the last half decade replacing sections of the decaying Pier 9, which provides access to the Holland Tunnel ventilation building.
The project saw the demolition of an 88-year-old timber pier, which was part of the original construction of the Holland Tunnel and the world’s first underwater ventilated system at the time it was built. The groundbreaking but outdated engineering was replaced with a durable concrete and steel structure that is expected to remain in good condition for at least 50 years.
As part of the project, a 10,000-square-foot park was refurbished with new lighting, benches and fencing. Enhanced landscaping was added throughout the space and public safety features such anti-vehicle bollards and security cameras were installed. The entire project totaled a final cost of $86 million.
“We are thrilled to return much-needed green space back to the community in better condition than when it closed for the pier project,” said Enrique Ramirez, general manager of the Holland Tunnel. “We thank Jersey City and Newport Associates Development Company for their cooperation and patience while we completed this critical project, which helps us maintain the Holland Tunnel and ensure that millions of motorists can breathe easier as they drive through the facility.”
Parks along piers in Newport have surprisingly been the subject of some controversy this year. Real estate developer LeFrak proposed a 3.47-acre greenspace on a pier they own in front of their Ellipse development, but the city’s planning board rejected their application over concerns that too much of the space would be closed to the public.