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Groundbreaking ceremony held for Newark pedestrian bridge project over McCarter Highway

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Newark pedestrian bridge project
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Newark pedestrian bridge project 01:56

NEWARK, N.J. -- A new pedestrian bridge planned in Newark promises a new connection for neighborhoods to entertainment and much more.

From above, you can see the area the pedestrian bridge in Newark will encompass -- right over McCarter Highway, connecting the Prudential Center and the nightlife and restaurants in the Ironbound to Newark's Penn Station.

"It will connect communities that were divided because of McCarter Highway because they're afraid to cross McCarter Highway," Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said.

Newark's mayor joined Gov. Phil Murphy and several other lawmakers at Mulberry Commons Park to break ground on the $110 million project, which will partly be funded through a state-authorized surcharge on parking in the city.

"Think about someone who comes to an event at the Prudential Center and will have the opportunity to walk through different zip codes in one municipality ... in less than 10 minutes," Sen. Theresa Ruiz said.

Newark resident Lance Jackson agrees.

"I believe it's a great idea. It opens it up, gives people a chance to walk around, see the great city of Newark and everything like that. Makes it a lot easier, more accessible," he said. "Especially if you're out having a good time after hours or it gets a little dark, walking across McCarter Highway could be dangerous."

The mayor says the project will bring more restaurants to the area, create jobs, add green space and attract tourists to the city, but he says the pedestrian bridge is mostly about equity.

"More than 50 percent of the people in the city don't even own a car, so walkability is very practical for us in the city to built a bridge that filks can walk over," Baraka said.

"I think it's a great idea. Anything to help make the people's lives a little bit easier," Newark resident Branly Cadet said.

"Politically, it is going to give Newark ... a center of gravity, a backbone," Murphy said.

Officials say the project should take between 18-24 months and be complete by the beginning of 2025.

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