Jersey City Awarded $3.5M Grant for Upgrades to Morris Canal Greenway
Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency have been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the New Jersey States Department of Transportation to develop segments of the historic Morris Canal into a Greenway in Jersey City.
The project will construct segments of a linear alignment along the footprint of the former Morris Canal, combining on-road and off-road elements to link together portions of a contiguous route that spans eight miles from Lincoln Park at the Hackensack River to Morris Canal Park at the Hudson River.
The Morris Canal, a 102 mile canal that stretches across six counties in New Jersey, was originally a 19th century iron and coal freight corridor that connected the Delaware and Hudson rivers. The Morris Canal Greenway Working Group, founded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, has aimed to develop the route of the historic canal into a 111-mile continuous pedestrian and bicycle trail.
“Transforming this historic pathway into the Morris Canal Greenway is a major step forward for Jersey City and the State, providing open space and off-street, multimodal paths for safe transportation that will improve connectivity between neighborhoods,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “The City is committed to the Vision Zero initiative, aiming to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2026, making our roads safe for travelers on bike, foot, car and more. The Morris Canal Greenway will significantly contribute to this initiative as we continue to improve sustainability and quality of life for our community.”
In 2013, the City completed an NJTPA-funded study, which resulted in the Jersey City Morris Canal Greenway Plan. Based on study findings, the City has moved forward with plan recommendations like Berry Lane Park, an area that transformed 17-acres of former rail yards, junk yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities and warehouses into recreational space in 2014. The plan also outlines the bicycle and pedestrian pathway that would run throughout the Greenway. The plan also outlines the bicycle and pedestrian pathway that would run throughout the Greenway.
“The City continues to make significant advancements towards its goal of creating a safer bike and pedestrian-friendly environment, with the Vision Zero initiative, a Bike Master Plan, and major infrastructure investments,” said Barkha Patel, Senior Planner, Division of City Planning. “The Morris Canal Greenway will be a unique addition to the City’s transportation network that preserves a historic asset, creates open space and allows residents and visitors to get around in a safe, comfortable, and active way.”
The project will improve connectivity between residential neighborhoods and downtown/waterfront areas, expanding access to employment, educational, commercial and community centers. Activity centers to be connected by the project include Our Lady of Mercy Church/School, McGovern Park, Mercer Park (Hudson County), Soaring Heights Charter School, Berry Lane Park, Lafayette Park, Garfield Avenue Light Rail Station, among other highly frequented destinations.