BOLLWAGE WRITES TO DOT COMMISSIONER – ELIZABETH FERRY EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO PULASKI SKYWAY CLOSING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kelly Vence

908-820-4124

Public Information Office

 

BOLLWAGE WRITES TO DOT COMMISSIONER – ELIZABETH FERRY EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO PULASKI SKYWAY CLOSING

 

ELIZABETH, NJ— September 26, 2013 – In a letter to New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James S. Simpson, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage detailed the benefits of re-visiting the development of a ferry service near The Outlet Collection – Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth. The pending closing of the Pulaski Skyway will have a significant impact on thousands of commuters, who will be faced with increased travel time, more traffic on substitute roadways as well as a reduced ability to directly access destinations.

“With the loss of this major corridor, for what is projected to be an extended period of time, it is imperative that potential transportation alternatives within the region be explored,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “The proposed site for the ferry is located adjacent to the Mall, which is off of Exit 13A of the New Jersey Turnpike. With close proximity to the waterway and easy access from throughout the region, this is the ideal location to provide residents with a new and exciting travel option.”

In light of the travel problems that the closing of the Skyway will create, the addition of a commuter ferry service at 13A would be a major benefit. This proposal would alleviate traffic before the bottleneck that occurs at Exit 14 North and South as well as where Route 78 East connects to Routes 1 and 9 North. The former is a direct run, while the latter would be a 3 minute Southward diversion off of Route 78 East.

The potential time savings to commuters in just the period during which the Skyway is closed, would be considerable. The implementation of the ferry would yield tremendous benefits for commuters, increase overall transportation services as well as enhance economic development in the area that borders the slip and the Port in general. Visitors to New York City, along with residents, could also avail themselves of the ferry and shop at the Mall, which would support tourism efforts within New Jersey.

The developments surrounding the Mall represent millions of square feet of office and retail space, thousands of hotel rooms, a theater, along with other airport and seaport-related businesses. Together, they provide thousands of jobs directly to New Jersey and New York residents, who will be seeking access to additional and more efficient transportation via intermodal connections.

The implementation of a ferry service within the municipality has been extensively examined by the City of Elizabeth and the County of Union in the past. However, start up costs for the operation along with build out costs for the ferry dock, have posed challenges.

“As home to two train stations, a seaport and a portion of Newark Liberty International Airport, the City of Elizabeth is an established transportation hub,” said First Ward Councilman Carlos Torres. “This effort not only increases choices and improves services; it also supports our Go-Green initiatives by reducing vehicle emissions and overall congestion on our roadways.”