NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Plans are finally in motion to turn an abandoned rail line into a walking and biking trail in North Jersey.
The long-awaited bike trail from Montclair to Jersey City would run along what is now just abandoned tracks and weeds, an old section of NJ Transit's Boonton Line.
“It’s been a dormant rail line for the last 16 years,” Debra Kagan, with the Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, said. “It just has such tremendous potential.
The 8.6-mile line is owned by Norfolk Southern Railway. After a decade of advocacy, the company recently announced it’s ready to sell.
“This is a great moment,” Kagan said. “We’re very excited about this moment.”
The Essex-Hudson Greenway would run from an area near the Bay Street Station in Montclair to a spot by the Grove Street PATH station in Jersey City, passing through a number of towns and the Meadowlands.
Kagan envisions people walking, biking and relaxing along the line. It even has potential for commuters looking to avoid delays on the roads and the rails.
“Options for biking and walking, something we’ve seen people are even more interested in as we’ve gone through COVID,” Kagan said.
The process is far from over. Advocates still need to secure funding and run through engineering needs, especially around the Hackensack and Passaic River bridges, which date back to the late 1800s.