High Line-style pedestrian bridge to link Newark Penn Station and Prudential Center
All renderings courtesy of Unboxed Visuals for Sage and Coombe Architects.
Work began this week on a High Line-esque pedestrian bridge in Newark a decade in the making. Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor J. Baraka on Tuesday broke ground on the Mulberry Commons Pedestrian Bridge, a walkable pathway above McCarter Highway that will link Newark Penn Station and the Prudential Center. The bridge is the second phase of the Mulberry Commons development, a 22-acre project aimed at revitalizing the area between downtown Newark and the Ironbound neighborhood, with Mulberry Commons Park at the center. Officials say the bridge will support economic growth, make Newark more walkable, and enhance the pedestrian experience in and around Newark Penn Station.
Designed by Sage and Coombe Architects, the bridge will stretch from Mulberry Commons Park next to the Prudential Center over the railroad tracks and into the Ironbound neighborhood. The bridge could improve commuter access to roughly 15 million square feet of office space and five million square feet of industrial space, according to a press release.
Projected to cost more than $100 million, the bridge is part of the Mulberry Commons development project, a massive endeavor revealed by officials in January 2017 to bring new residential, commercial, office, and green space to Newark.
“Mulberry Commons Park is the first phase of one of the most important redevelopment projects ever undertaken in Newark. It has provided our children with a safe, innovative place to play, created a new community gathering space for outdoor events, and jumpstarted development in the surrounding neighborhood,” Baraka said.
“With today’s groundbreaking, we enter the second phase, which catapults the metamorphosis of downtown into the full expression of a livable community. After decades of contemplating concepts and possibilities, Newark now cements a public/private collaboration to create a bustling habitat, dovetailing housing, employment, retail, and entertainment.”
Mulberry Commons is expected to attract interest from developers and employers who invest money in the city and create more jobs across Newark, the county, and the state.
“It’s rare that a single project can so comprehensively encapsulate all that our state – and the great City of Newark – have worked tirelessly to achieve for our residents,” Murphy said. “Indeed, by connecting Newark Penn Station and the city’s downtown, the Mulberry Commons Pedestrian Bridge will not only promote active and public transportation in our state’s most populous city, but simultaneously catalyze economic growth and development for generations to come.”
The project could completed by the end of 2024 or early 2025.
A major component is the $191 million restoration of Newark Penn Station, announced by the governor in 2020. Opened in 1935, the train hall was designed by McKim, Mead & White–the firm behind New York City’s original Penn Station–in an Art Deco and Neo-Classical style. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As 6sqft reported, the station is the seventh busiest rail station in North America and serves 500,000 customers daily via NJ Transit, Newark Light Rail, PATH, Amtrak, and the city’s buses.