Mind the Gap: Updates on 25th and 34th Street Bridges

A July 24th Instagram post from 2nd Ward Council Member Jacqueline Weimmer, showing a construction crew working on the 25th Street bridge offered hope that the bridge would be on its way to completion soon. It’s quite possible that it will be, but unfortunately, the process has once more hit a snag according to Law Director Jay Coffey as NJ.com reported.

Last week’s crew was working on removing the old bridge’s abutments, which they were successful in removing. An undisclosed issue halted construction, with further work expected to commence again this week. Given the setbacks and delays, no timeframe was given for when completion is expected.

25th Street Bridge construction
Old bridge and abutments cleared for future construction of 25th Street Bridge. Photo credit: Bayonne Buzz

The 25th Street bridge has been under construction since June 2021 and has been mired in unfortunate delays. Part of the delay has dealt with the sheer number of parties involved which include Conrail, Verizon, and several agencies, forcing much planning to coordinate. Additionally the pandemic contributed to the deadly along with special safety courses thatwere required by the government for all parties to proceed. Those courses have all been completed.

The old bridge had a steep pitch and was difficult to traverse, especially for those with disabilities. The new bridge is being constructed to be compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act and will feature stairs and elevators at the bases, with a flatter span crossing the tracks. Currently, residents have to cross at 22nd Street or 30th Street if they want to connect to traverse the railroad that separates Avenue E and Prospect Avenue.

34th Street Bridge Update

The city hosted an update on the constructing of the 34th Street bridge on Wednesday, August 2nd with a further presentation set for Wednesday, August 9th at 6PM during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. This Caucus meeting will be televised on Optimum cable Channel 78 and on Verizon Fios Channel 42 with one more additional opportunity for the public to comment at a later date.

34th Street proposed bridge, aerial view
34th Street proposed bridge, aerial view. Rendering by Ty Lin

The bridge would connect the growing redevelopment, shops, and walk paths on the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, previously known as the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne, or MOTBY, to the 34th Street light rail parking lot and platform. This would improve pedestrian safety over the highway and allow for better connections between Avenue E and the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

The preferred bridge concept from Ty Lin, the engineering firm leading the design study, is expected to look similar to the current bridge on the west side of Route 440 and be encased in glass. Construction plans call for a small building housing stairs and an elevator on the east side of Route 440 with additional sidewalks leading to the landing. The bridge corridor would be 12-feet wide, enough to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists passing through.

Proposed 34th Street pedestrian bridge, looking west
Proposed 34th Street pedestrian bridge, looking west. Rendering by Ty Lin

Currently the bridge is in the proposal phase with three bridge designs up for consideration. Once the public comments and their feedback considered, then the project can move forward to preliminary engineering, then final design, and ultimately to construction. The entire process until a standing bridge is realized is expected to take up to two years, but only 10-12 months to complete once construction starts according to reporting by NJ.com.

Funding from the bridge is being funded by federal sources. Minimal road disruption is expected as the bridge span will be constructed offsite and then put into place in a single night, on the weekend, which would be the only time that the road would need to be closed.

34th Street proposed bridge, looking north
34th Street proposed bridge, looking north. Rendering by Ty Lin

More information on the bridge can be found at https://34thstbayonnepedestrianbridge.com/contact.