Thursday, August 11, 2016

Route 280 Construction Limits Access to Stickel Bridge Pedestrian Walkway

Newark, New Jersey: Construction near a local bridge has limited access to its pedestrian walkway.

Since late 2015, contractors have been working on improvements near Exit 15 on Interstate 280 in Newark, at the intersection of McCarter Highway/Route 21, near the Stickel Bridge. 

George Harms Construction Company, which has been hired by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), estimates that the $93,049,741 project will be completed in February, 2019. According to the contractor, "the goal of this project is to replace this interchange with a much safer and more up-to-date design".

However, the current condition of the bridge's eastbound walkway is having an impact on pedestrians. 

The eastbound pedestrian walkway, which features views of Newark and New York, begins on the Newark side with a stairwell along McCarter Highway, then crosses over the Passaic River into East Newark in Hudson County, ending with a stairwell down to Hamilton Street in Harrison.

Although the stairwells leading to the walkway remain open, recently, the sidewalk leading to the walkway on the Newark side has been removed. In addition, as is pictured above, the curb is no longer at the site, and a new guardrail has been installed, leaving a walking area that is approximately a foot wide.

Pedestrians who used to use the bridge to walk to Hudson County now either have to walk onto the heavily-used highway access ramp, or must walk to Bridge Street Bridge or the Clay Street Bridge in order to get to Harrison.

This is not the only problem involving pedestrian walkways on the bridge. Although there is a walkway across the Passaic River on the bridge's westbound side, and a sidewalk to it on the Newark side of the bridge, for years, there has been no sidewalk or stairwell on the Hudson County side of the westbound walkway to access the street. This forces pedestrians who already crossed the bridge to have to walk back to Newark in order to cross back to Hudson County.

Essex County Place has reached out to NJDOT, and this article will be updated should a representative respond.

Above: The Stickel Bridge in Newark

Above: The stairwell to the eastbound pedestrian walkway on the bridge at the Newark side

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