The commute from Jersey City into NYC is already somewhat streamlined, but one NJ resident has a wild idea about an alternative way to connect the two cities via a sprawling footbridge. The 5,000-foot-long link would not only be a direct path into Manhattan from JC and vice versa, but would also serve as an enjoyable and scenic journey to make by bike or foot. The man behind this big idea is Kevin Shane, and he calls his dream The Liberty Bridge.
Shane partnered with NJ-based architect Jeff Jordan to create a design that would serve pedestrians and cyclists alike, offering a car-free route over the Hudson River from Jersey City to Battery Park City. The concept for the multi-level bridge includes partial shelter from the elements and greenery all along the way, with grassy areas alongside a boardwalk-like surface and shrubbery here and there, softening the view over the river. Commuting to work across the Liberty Bridge would be almost like a stroll in the park.
The design is a bridge, in the sense that it would connect two locales not otherwise connected by any convenient means, but it’s more than that. The concept is actually much more park-like than one would immediately think, with spaces to lounge and enjoy the scenery, and a variety of different levels, steps, and viewing platforms to break up the monotony and lend to the complexity of the structure. Walkers and bikers would have separate lanes to use, making it an efficient route for cyclists and reducing danger for pedestrians who may want to enjoy a more leisurely jaunt across the footbridge.
If it ever gets built, the footbridge would be 5,000 feet long and would sit 200 feet above the water’s surface. There is even talk of opening the bridge up to retail spaces and art exhibits, and outfitting the sprawling path with solar panels and free wireless internet access.
We have no idea what a bridge like this would cost to build, or how many pedestrians and cyclists might take advantage of it, should it come to fruition. The one thing we know for certain is that it’ll be tough to get approval for this kind of massive, never-before-seen project, and it could be in the “pipe dream” stage for quite a while. If you like the idea of walking from Jersey City to Manhattan, you can show your support for the project by signing Shane’s petition to Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. The petition will serve as a first step in the process of letting state officials know that the public is on board with the possibility of taking a long walk over the Hudson River.
Images via Jeff Jordan Architects