New footbridge to span the Hudson

An audacious plan is being proposed to alleviate the commuting woes of New Jerseyites who spend hours a day travelling on the PATH rail...


An audacious plan is being proposed to alleviate the commuting woes of New Jerseyites who spend hours a day travelling on the PATH rail link across the Hudson to the New York side of the River. Tired of his daily commute, Kevin Shane, a resident of New Jersey, stopped complaining and has come up with what he hopes will be a novel solution to ease the pain of the journey into Manhattan. His solution - a mile-long pedestrian/cyclist bridge across the Hudson River.

At present, the idea is just at the petition stage but Shane, who calls himself an entrepreneur and crowdfunding consultant, has already partnered with architect Jeff Jordan to envision the Liberty Bridge, which would rise about 200 feet above the river surface and connect lower Manhattan and Jersey City. The more than 100,000 PATH train commuters could use the bridge as an alternative way to travel between New Jersey into Manhattan every day.

"During rush hour, it's not uncommon to either wait for multiple trains to go by before getting on, and/or being uncomfortably squeezed up against four people around you, once you are on," Shane said. "It's just not a great way to start off your day. With the tens of thousands of new apartments being built in downtown Jersey City and Journal Square, the situation is only worsening. The ability to walk or ride your bike into Manhattan seemed like a valid solution."

The visionary pair imagined more than just a plain ol’ pedestrian bridge. Jordan has designed paths within a box-truss structure, lined with seating areas, landscaped gardens, eateries and shops. It is as much a destination as a means of getting to the other side. The bridge cum park would also attract tourists as it would offer magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline. 

Pedestrian bridges are not new. London has the Millennium Bridge and the proposed Garden Bridge, Singapore has the Helix, and even Tehran has one called the Taibet bridge. So, will this one actually be built between New York and New Jersey?

"The chances of this happening are slim, but I like those chances," Shane said. "There's no question that this will be a tremendously difficult challenge. Exciting ideas like this are generally not the easiest to make happen, otherwise it would have already been done already. Just ask Elon Musk!"

If you would like to help this become a reality, then why not sign the petition here.  

images: Jeff Jordan Architects via bbc.com

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