Office of the Governor
Paterson Plank Road Project Debuts in Hudson County
New Interchange Separates Vehicular, Pedestrian and Rail Traffic
(North Bergen) - Governor James E. McGreevey today opened the new Paterson Plank Road interchange on Routes 1/9 in North Bergen at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with New Jersey North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas J. Sacco and Acting NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Gwen Watson.
"The $45 million project - funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund - was constructed to support NJ TRANSIT's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system," McGreevey said. "The project allows Paterson Plank Road vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross above Routes 1/9 and the adjacent Northern Branch freight railroad tracks."
The Governor said the project also will provide Hudson-Bergen Light Rail cars exclusive operation on the River Line - including travel through the Weehawken Tunnel - as all freight railroad traffic in the area moves from the River Line to the Northern Branch.
"With the continued leadership of Congressman Menendez and Senator Sacco, we are working aggressively to improve the region's mobility and improve traffic flow patterns," he said.
"As chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition," said Sacco. "This overpass will greatly improve access for businesses, residents and commuters. Along with other area construction under way this is a major step towards easing traffic congestion and providing the business community with improved development."
"This is one of the most congested intersections in the State of New Jersey, where two major roads - Route 1/9 and Paterson Plank Road - converge on a very active freight railroad," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James P. Fox. "Projects like this - strongly supported by Governor McGreevey - will help to relieve a significant traffic bottleneck and enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety by separating sidewalks and roads from rail traffic."
"Completion of this project marks another significant milestone in the expansion of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail," said Acting NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Gwen Watson. "These investments are essential to the future success of the system in the greater Hudson County region."
"The Paterson Plank Road project is one of two 'grade separation' projects being constructed by NJ TRANSIT, eliminating railroad crossings at Paterson Plank and Secaucus roads," added McGreevey. "The Secaucus Road project is scheduled for completion next month. Both projects pave the way for freight trains currently operating on the River Line to move to the Northern Branch Line, giving NJ TRANSIT exclusive operating rights on the River Line when Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service begins operating between Hoboken and Weehawken in 2004."
NJ TRANSIT's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system opened in April 2000. It currently operates between 34th Street in Bayonne and West Side Avenue in Jersey City to Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, carrying an average nearly 12,000 average weekday passenger trips. The final phase of Minimum Operating Segment One (MOS-1) - between Newport and Hoboken Terminal - is scheduled to open this fall. MOS-2 will open in the following stages:
- Between 34th Street and 22nd Street in Bayonne - 2003.
- Between Hoboken Terminal and the Weehawken Ferry Terminal - 2004.
- Between Weehawken and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen - 2005.