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Bergen Arches Study

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the "Bergen Arches"?

The Bergen Arches is an abandoned rail corridor just under one mile long that cuts through densely developed Jersey City, paralleling Rt. 139 and extending from below J.F. Kennedy Boulevard near Tonnelle Avenue to the west and Palisades Avenue to the east. Trains last used the arches more than thirty years ago. The Arches were originally constructed to bring Erie Railroad passengers to the Pavonia Avenue Terminal on the Hudson River Waterfront in Jersey City.

How did this study begin?

The Bergen Arches lie in an area rich in transportation facilities. Major investments in the transportation infrastructure have occurred throughout the years, and rehabilitation of the area's main roadways are planned or are underway. These current or proposed transportation facilities have helped fuel the tremendous economic and urban redevelopment that has taken place along the Hudson Riverfront. As this trend continues, the transportation network should be improved in a way such that it is capable of addressing the area's transportation needs. The Bergen Arches provides a valuable opportunity to provide a new linkage in this rapidly redeveloping region, promoting future economic growth and enhanced regional mobility.

What is the purpose of the Bergen Arches Study?

The principal purpose of this study is to determine the best use or uses for the Bergen Arches right-of-way. Among the alternatives that will be explored are using the right-of-way for freight movement, constructing a mass transit facility, creating a new roadway to provide an alternative route into downtown Jersey City, or a combination of these alternatives. None of these alternatives are currently favored over others. Through extensive community involvement and exhaustive data collection and analysis, the study will identify an alternative(s) that would be buildable, environmentally acceptable, and achieves a wide degree of community support. These acceptable alternatives will then be subject to further study to determine their feasibility.

How will the "best use" be determined?

The study will determine the current and future transportation needs of the area and identify important economic, environmental, and community factors. Different alternatives or concepts will be developed that will be analyzed to see how well they meet the region's mobility needs while still respecting identified constraints. The evaluation of the alternatives will be conducted in an open and cooperative manner, ensuring that all stakeholders are able to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns.

What is involved in "Concept Development"?

The Bergen Arches project team will determine current and future transportation needs for the area based on extensive data collection, analysis, and fieldwork. This data will permit the development of a set of improvement concepts or alternatives. The concept development process will focus on the range of transportation systems considering each system's use of the Bergen Arches right-of-way as a means to pass through the region, and their connectivity to other existing or proposed transportation networks in the area. These alternatives will address a broad range of transportation issues, and possibly integrate highway, transit, and freight aspects.

What is a Congestion Management System (CMS) Study?

A Congestion Management System Study is a process to help develop and implement cost-effective strategies to alleviate congestion and enhance mobility for new and existing transportation facilities. The CMS study covers all reasonable travel demand reduction and traffic demand strategies that can reduce congestion.

When will this study be completed?

The study is anticipated to be completed in 18 months. Improvement concepts that best meet the study's goals and objectives and adequately address transportation needs, are environmentally acceptable, and enjoy community support will be advanced for further study.

How can I express my opinions or concerns?

We welcome your comments, concerns, and suggestions. This web site has an online feedback form that allows you to express your ideas. Additionally, information on public meetings and workshops will be periodically posted on the web site. We encourage your attendance at these events so that we may get your feedback and address any concerns or suggestions you may have.
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  Department of Transportation
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  February 1, 2005