NYC Liberty Bridge

By on Dec 10, 2015 in News

For many Jersey City is LibertyBridgeHypo“the sixth borough,” even though at times it feels like it’s a world away from New York City. There are only a few miles from Manhattan to Jersey with the Hudson River crossing of about a mile. Yet, moving from one side of the Hudson to the other means taking a relatively circuitous route or using the busy PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) system.

The PATH system cannot keep up with the ever-higher number of commuters—240,000 people per work day—the ferry is expensive enough to make you want to call Uber, the train system is pretty unreliable, and tunnels need repairs.

A new proposal might change all this. Kevin Shane, a 34-year-old Jersey City resident employed at the real estate crowdfunding company Sharestates, has invested much of his free time developing a plan that would enable commuters and tourists to bike or walk between downtown Jersey City apartments and Lower Manhattan. Yes, he envisioned a pedestrian bridge over Hudson—more than a mile long (1.5km) and more than 200 feet (60m) above the river. He envisioned another Liberty Bridge.

Recently, Kevin met with Jersey City architect Jeff Jordan of Jeff Jordan Architects, who saw the greatness of Kevin’s daring idea and decided to join forces. Shortly after, Jordan jumped on board pro bono, releasing a series of appealing renderings that he designed with the assistance of his summer architecture interns and the Liberty Bridge turned from daydream to media darling.

“It was provocative. I knew it would be a fun project to be involved in,” said Jordan, 38, who believes the bridge is buildable. “This isn’t a space station—it’s a bridge across a river. It comes down to money and will, but I think it’s feasible.”

The Liberty Bridge idea is simply beautiful and extremely needed. The Bridge would cater to commuters with an express walking lane and separate bike lane (both partially enclosed from the elements). It would bring a park-like experience to those who want to make the Liberty Bridge a destination that will offer a 200+ foot view over the Hudson unlike any before. The Bridge will house coffee shops and other retail, artwork, grassy areas, and benches.

It will start on the Embankment in Jersey City and gradually increase in height (with access points closer to the River) and end at a higher level in NYC. The Bridge will offer elevators, stairs and ramps for access on and off and be fully ADA compliant. Most importantly, the Bridge will add a new, environmentally friendly and pleasurable way to commute into NYC for the thousands of NJ residents that currently drive and take mass transit into the city everyday,” according to the Liberty Bridge website.

In order to push the project forward, Kevin Shane has created a petition calling on supporters to urge Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo and Mayors Steven Fulop and Bill De Blasio “to make this a reality.”

At the end of October, almost 2,500 people had signed the petition. What do you think? Is the bridge a possibility or just an ambitious dream dreamt ahead of its time?