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The replacement of the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension between Interchanges 14 and 14A will eliminate congestion and provide important mobility, safety, and access benefits to overburdened communities in Newark, Bayonne, and Jersey City, according to the findings of a draft Environmental Impact Statement released by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority today. The draft EIS, which is part of a rigorous and ongoing environmental process, was prepared in accordance with Executive Order No. 215 (EO 215). EO 215 requires that state agencies and authorities prepare and submit environmental impact statements to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for major construction projects. The goal of EO 215 is to reduce or eliminate any potential adverse environmental impacts of projects initiated or funded by the State.
"Ensuring that all of our roadways are safe, sustainable, and resilient for drivers and communities is our top priority. The findings of the draft EIS reflect this commitment. These findings, for the Program’s highest priority project, are the result of eight coordination meetings with NJDEP and more than 2 years of analysis and investigations conducted by a team of environmental experts,” stated James Carone, Executive Director at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. “In keeping with our goal of promoting equity in infrastructure, we are proud to share the results of the draft EIS.”
Constructed in 1956, the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension is 8.1 miles of critical transportation infrastructure from Interchange 14 in Newark to the Jersey Avenue intersection in Jersey City. The Extension consists of 29 bridges that are at the end of their life and must be replaced. This Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension Improvements Program will rebuild the aging bridges and roadway to ensure safety and address the anticipated impacts of climate change.
"This Program is consistent with efforts around the country to rebuild our aging infrastructure. Our nation has witnessed the tragedies that can occur when we don’t invest in our infrastructure. The rebuilding of the Extension from Interchanges 14 to 14A along with the entire Program is an investment in our safety, climate resilience, and economy. It is important to note that no city, county, state, or federal tax dollars are being used to fund the Program,” said Michael Garofalo, Chief Engineer at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The EIS focused on the Program’s highest priority project, Interchange 14 in Newark to Interchange 14A in Bayonne and Jersey City. This project comprises 4.1 miles of the 8.1 mile Extension and includes the replacement of the Vincent Robert Casciano Bridge over Newark Bay. A primary focus of the EIS is environmental justice. Given that the Extension is within or near areas defined by NJDEP as meeting one or more Overburdened Community thresholds, the EIS analysis included impacts on public health, community cohesion, and access to parks and community facilities.
Some of key findings include the following:
More information about the findings can be found in the draft EIS or its summary document. Those and other documents related to the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension Improvement Program are posted at www.njta.com/capitalprojects.
“We recognize that many of the communities closest to the Extension have been historically overburdened. This is why, from the very beginning, environmental justice has been central to the planning and design process for this safety and modernization program. The findings of the EIS for the most urgent project of the Program demonstrate our commitment to prioritizing the safety of our drivers and the surrounding communities,” stated Lisa K. Navarro, Supervising Engineer and Program Manager at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The draft EIS is the first critical milestone in the ongoing multi-step environmental review process. Because the Newark Bay Bridge crosses Newark Bay, a federal navigation channel, the reconstruction from Interchange 14 to Interchange 14A is also subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related federal approvals. In compliance with NEPA, NJTA has prepared and submitted a draft Environmental Assessment to the U.S. Coast Guard for approval. USCG will release the final draft of the Environmental Assessment for public comment. As part of the environmental process, NJTA will be applying for NJDEP permits in the coming weeks to address impacts during and after construction. Once the permit applications are submitted the public will have the opportunity to review the application package and provide comment. Additionally, property owners within 200 feet of the permit limits will be notified in writing.
Construction on Interchange 14 in Newark to Interchange 14A in Bayonne and Jersey City will begin in 2026. It will last eight to 10 years. The reconstruction of the remainder of the Extension to Jersey Avenue in Jersey City will take place in the next decade. There will be additional EISs for the remaining reconstruction once the detailed engineering and corresponding environmental analysis are conducted.