New Twin-Span Goethals Bridge Shared-Use Pedestrian and Bike Path Finally Opens! Images from March 4th, 2020. A Staten Islander News Service Staff writer and photographer walked together over the path to Elizabeth, and back. These images chronicle their adventure.

New Twin-Span Goethals Bridge Shared-Use Pedestrian and Bike Path Finally Opens!

Finally! We can cross without a car! Today marked a milestone in the saga of the 1.5 billion dollar Goethals Bridge replacement with twin spans, a project that has been ongoing for years now.

The Freedom Tower and Lower Manhattan skyline looms over a patchwork of shipping containers at New York Container Terminal, Old Place. New Twin-Span Goethals Bridge Shared-Use Pedestrian and Bike Path Finally Opens! Images from March 4th, 2020. A Staten Islander News Service Staff writer and photographer walked together over the path to Elizabeth, and back. These images chronicle their adventure.

At 10 AM this morning, the shared-use path finally opened, after residents of both New Jersey and New York have waited patiently, the original opening date set for September, 2018.

The new path is wide enough for emergency vehicles to ride on with ample room, with a width of ten feet, side-to-side. The path itself is quite long; if you’re not used to walking, the somewhat steep incline might be a bit much, totaling over 7,300 feet. It’s good exercise, though.

And, now Staten Island and Elizabeth residents can bike or walk over the span, without paying a toll. Finally, something free for us all!

And, those of us wishing to pollute less while traveling, finally have an option when traveling to points West.

The 13+ track rail yard in Arlington can be seen in the distance, looking toward SI. The yard is now heavily used once again, after decades of disuse.

A Staten Islander New Organization staff writer and a photographer walked the path together under crystal-clear azure blue skies.

The videos and photos accompanying this article convey the sights and sounds you are likely to encounter if you walk the newly opened path. Please remember it’s quite windy up there; also, it’s a long walk, and somewhat steep. Be prepared.

The steam stack at NRG Energy Generation station in Travis.

NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg could not contain her enthusiasm. “We’re excited about the opening of the new Goethals Bridge shared use path, and the new connections it will create for cyclists and pedestrians between Staten Island and Elizabeth…”

“…On foot or on two wheels, traveling between our two states has historically been a big challenge – so we thank the Port Authority for working with us to make the bridge and the New York City approaches more accessible. Those traveling across the state line on bike or by foot can now enjoy a great and sustainable trip complete with views for miles – never mind a trip free of all tolls.”

The path is safe for all, as it does not let out into traffic on either side, but rather new bike and pedestrian paths have been added to local streets on either side.

The serpentine hills, the backbone of Our Island.

In fact, this is what had caused the delay. Riders crossing the span from New Jersey can loop around under the bridge, following the newly poured concrete path, ending up on Goethals Road North, then Western Avenue, and finally Gulf Avenue. From there, the bike path continues onto Forest Avenue.

And while there are tons of trucks going in and out of the container port at the end of Goethals Road North, pedestrians and those traveling by bike never have to vie for space on the road. Still, keep your eyes and ears open, just to be safe!

New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition Executive Director Ed Goodell stated in the PANYNJ Press Release, “”We applaud the much-anticipated completion of the Goethals Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path, which provides a new mobility option for people travelling between Union County and Staten Island…”

Matrix Global Logistics and Amazon Warehouses in the distance.

“…We support the Port Authority’s investment in the bridge’s shared use path and encourage the development of a more robust bike and pedestrian infrastructure along corridors leading to the City of Elizabeth.”

There are parking spaces on Gulf Ave

After parking, this creek was right beyond the road’s safety railing. The water shimmered in the sunlight.

nue, so if you’re planning to take a walk, find a space there. Please do not park on Goethals Road North or Western Avenue; these are So Standing zones and parking rules are strictly enforced.

There are a few rules for use of the path. It’s only open from 6 AM to midnight. While both pedestrians and bicycles are permitted, cyclists must yield to all pedestrians. If you must pass, do so on the left. And finally, no loitering!

The freshly-poured concrete for the pedestrian walkway, with the bike path outline traced on the road.

While it’s an incredible vista, you can’t have a picnic up there. But of course, no one is going to stop you if you pause for a few moments to take in the view, either.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole had this to say in a March 3, 2020 Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Press Release:

“We are committed to creating more ways to link communities throughout our region. This new shared use path on the Goethals Bridge opens up dedicated and safe access for residents who want greener recreational and commuting options or those looking for a way to appreciate the scenic views as they cross this impressive span,” said . “We thank NYC DOT, NJ DOT and the City of Elizabeth for sharing our commitment to safety and green uses of shared space.”

About to loop under the Goethals Bridge.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton added:
“For the first time in its history, the Goethals Bridge has a shared use path dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Cycling and walking are environmentally friendly ways to get around and we want to expand these opportunities at our facilities whenever possible.”

Looking under the twin spans toward Elizabeth.

The original Goethals Bridge, named after General Major General George W. Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal, who also served as the Port Authority’s first consulting engineer. The original span was opened in June, 1928.

While there was no official walkway or bike path, there was in fact a service walkway along the Northern side of the bridge. Locals, wishing to remain anonymous, shared with us that many people used to traverse the bridge using this path in the 1980s, although it was, in fact, against the law. According to our source, “It was before 9-11. Before the age of terrorism. Enforcement wasn’t as strict.”

The DOT pedestrian walkway loops under the bridge.

Whether you plan to use the path for fun, fitness, or getting from point A to point B, it’s cause for celebration that we Islanders, and the people of local New Jersey towns and cities just West of Mariner’s Harbor, Old Town, and Arlington, now have another option.

Remember cyclists: Follow the traffic laws!

Quite a walk to the entrance on Goethals Road North.

The gate to the shared-use path. It closes at midnight. Opens 6 AM again.

A sign points the way.

Excited to enter the new pathway!

The greenery planted alongside will grow in once Spring arrives.

This is going to be a looong walk!

Looking toward the bridge, seeing its snaking form over the water.

Approaching the placard.

The newly dedicated Goethals Bridge plaque. Everything so shiny and new! Clean, too!

Check out the names. 20 points if you know them all!

About to really get to the bridge.

Here we go!

Walking…walking…

Warehouses, again. Oldtimers: Remember when this was GATX, the largest standing oil tank field on Earth?

Industry in Linden now in view.

Tired already? Looking back, we haven’t gotten too far yet.

Western Avenue cars wait at the light by NYCT.

The first road sign: West 278 to South 1 and 9.

Never-ending path? Perspective, much?

Good to see SI industry buzzing once again.

Speed limit sign for span.

Wetlands. Marshes. Ah, home…

The Arthur Kill lift bridge in the distance.

Did we get anywhere? Looks like answer is NO.

What have we gotten ourselves into?!

This is so people can’t commit suicide jumping from our lovely new bridge!

What the…Bridge workers taking the easy way out!

Bye-bye guys. You are soo lucky.

Those monsters load and unload shipping containers from seafaring vessels. George Lucas was inspired by these: Ever see AT-ATs? (It’s true.)

The next signs. Which way shall we go? How about forward?

Ah..finally…the bridge..is in view.

The rail bridge over the Arthur Kill again, now larger.

Does the new twin span remind anyone else of a spider’s web?

BUMP! Watch out bike riders.

SI-side tower of the lift bridge. Note the offices where the workers stay.

Now we’re talking! Finally, bridge!

The massive anchors for the support cables. Sorry, terrorists, this bridge is HARDENED against attack.

Close-up of anti-suicide screen connectors.

Same shot, but now a little more of the lift bridge, itself. Note Newark in background.

Built to last.

These are serious. No way to cut through. No one’s jumping from this path.

The leaning towers of…the Goethals Bridge(s)?

Modernity. In case of vehicular fires.

NYCT hardware, a closer view.

The sun shining through the cables. Ahh, what a sunny day, One in a…hundred?

Is that tower SUPPOSED to be tilting like that?

Rail bridge to Elizabeth and surrounding areas.

Now, just the lift bridge.

Incredible. Just incredible.

The marshlands of Old Place. Our Island supports life!

See the towers’ shadows?

NYC. SI. Work is happening here.

35 Holland Avenue. 55 Holland Avenue. 20 points if you know the other two! Note Bayonne Bridge, background.

Nearing the Elizabeth, NJ side. These machines load and unload half-size containers from barges. Garbage, maybe?

The operators play Tetris all day.

This guy was the first to bike over the bridge. We think. Can we be sure?

Nice angles.

Bright fluorescent vests are safe and look great under a black light.

Those cables are very heavy.

Ship approaching.

Under the rail bridge, accompanied by a Moran tug.

Ships in the NY Harbor must be led around by tugboats.

Guess the ship type. C’mon, at least try, kids.

All the pipes…no Amazon packages here.

The rail bridge was cleared.

A mini-apartment building floats by.

OK. We think it’s an oil tanker.

Passing under the Goethals Bridge.

So many pipes.  A plumber on board?

Radar unit for nav. And the American Flag waving in the wind.

A lonely tugboat.

Now this one’s going under us!

The barge pulls away, loaded up with…stuff?

Headed…not far. Barges are for local travel, only. Usually.

Tug boats have powerful engines.

This machine in action is so sick! See the vids.

The cables are covered for protection.

New Twin-Span Goethals Bridge Shared-Use Peeking through the fencing.

Your guess…as good as mine.

The sun behind the tower. Still wary of the leaning bit.

Technology makes this an efficient process.

Some tanks in the background. Foreground was site of the 1980 fire.

Almost forgot the goal was to cross to the other side.

Here comes Linden.

I always thought the refinery looked futuristic.

Long-shot. Elizabeth side.

Rolling stock. Filled tot he brim with…OIL!

Clearly, we’re making progress.

Yucky, stinky open-air water for Elazabeth’s sewage purification. Some days this smells SOO gross!

Rail corridor. A Tinier one. Focus on bars, close-up.

Rail corridor. A Tinier one. Focus on the railway.

Newark. NYC’s twin city.

This is fun but I have to use the bathroom. (I kid you not!) Maybe a port-a-potty up here would be a good idea?

Recycling all around. That thing was so shiny with bits of recyclables.

The rail line approaching the lift bridge, Jersey side.

The approach to the rail bridge gets used every day.

Old rusty bulldozer looks homely, but does the job. What IS the job?!

This was the original branch of the railroad, headed toward Staten Island Junction, Cranford, NJ.

Note the wood holding this up. Wood is sturdy, don’t be fooled.

Rusty. Rails.

When WAS this built? Anyone? Anyone?

This part is concrete.

Through the bars.

An angle of the lift bridge few of us see.

I can see our shadows. Spring coming soon? Wait. Wrong story.

Note the top curving track. That goes to the Chemical Line, NJ’s famous rail corridor. It’s fairly new.

Empty space. A rarity.

Suckers! No tolls for us! 😛

This is a long walk, make no mistake.

A GOAL piece down there. See it?

This is the main trunk of the Chemical Alley railroad.

Why is only one set of tracks clean and rust-free?

A little haze now. Still, mega sunny.

When I see this after a long journey, I think,”HOME.”

The gate that locks the path at night.

Get it straight! Being up there off-hours is ILLEGAL, friend.

I love the white concrete. (Guess you can tell I’m from SI!)

Another one?

Wonder if this thing knows it has a twin over in SI?

So stately.

Home stretch!

What. Is. That.

Looking back, toward SI.

The latest in high-power transmission line towers.

Road salt. For snow. Luckily, this year we didn’t need much of this.

The railing. Close-up.

Signs showing you where to go so you don’t get hit by a car. Or 18 wheeler!

This was the last thing that had to be made. You can’t just have a shared-use path!

Rainwater has to go somewhere.

For reals…

The Jersey side of life.

We have to do this again?!

Hey! Where’s OUR sign?

A freight train headed back to Staten Island.

Diesel-electric locomotive, close-up. Norfolk Southern.

Headed up the ramp to the lift bridge. We have to run!

The bridge is up!

Lift bridge. Still up.

A ship’s approaching. They get the right of way. So we don’t have to rush..too much.

So modernist-looking, all those angles.

My favorite pic. Goethals Bridge Tower, from its base looking up.

Thee that counter-weight? makes lifting and lowering a breeze.

As the ship approaches…

Hurry up, already!

Almost there…

Another oil tanker?

SI. NYC.

This barge also had to go past.

Arthur Kill Lift Bridge being lowered.

Still further.

Almost there…

Almost…

See the Freedom Tower, kids?

I guess they have to lock it in place?

Close-up, Arthur Kill rail bridge in lowered position. See vids for train crossing.

 

2 Comments

  • Avatar Local 580 Guy says:

    Finally! Its about time! Nothing Port Authority does ever goes on time. The new WTC took longer too.

  • Avatar Shiloh Reese says:

    Nice Keep up the good work. The pics were A+++

    My only complaint with this news service is that the content is on the thin side. More stories would be great. I check back every day and sometimes there’s nothing new at all.

    At the same time I know every story will be worth reading. I’ve just read them all three times now and it’s getting boring. lol

    Compared to other ‘real’ newspapers you guys win hands down. Just hope you start churning out more stories. But please oh please don’t start writing garbage just to publish more.

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