Harsimus Stem Embankment

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Not to be confused with Sixth Street Viaduct.
Atop embankment at eastern end
Retaining wall
Stone support pier of viaduct which carried the line westward to what is now Journal Square

The Harsimus Stem Embankment, also called Sixth Street Embankment, is a half-mile-long historic railroad embankment, now abandoned and largely overgrown with foliage, in the heart of Jersey City's historic downtown. Twenty seven feet high,[1] it runs along the south side of Sixth Street, west from Marin Boulevard to Brunswick Street and is the border between the Harsimus and Hamilton Park neighborhoods. The overhead tracks of the beam bridge west of Brunswick Street have been dismantled and the stone abutments remain.[2]

This elevated stone structure once carried seven tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Passaic and Harsimus Line to its freight yards and carfloat operations on the Hudson River at Harsimus Cove, and its vast warehouse and distribution facility, now Harborside Financial Center. The line was part of the railroad's vast holdings on the waterfront which included the Exchange Place passenger terminal and the Greenville Yard. The Embankment is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, is eligible for the National Register, and is a Jersey City municipal landmark.[3]

A local citizens' movement is lobbying local governments, chiefly Hudson County and the city of Jersey City, to acquire the land and convert the Embankment to a public park. The developer who owns the land that the Embankment sits on is opposed. In September 2010 a federal court ruled that sale to the developer was legal and that the city has previously not exercised its first option to buy the right-of-way from Conrail. The decision may lead the city to take the structure through eminent domain.,[4][5] though a $1 million grant request was not honored.[6] The developer's proposals to sell portions of the land to the city have been rejected.[7][8] The case was brought to a higher appeals court.[1][9] That court found that the case against the developer could proceed.[10] In January 2012 it was announced that a deal had been arranged whereby the city would purchase the property for $7million.[11][12] In September it was ruled that Conrail had not gone through a process of "abandonment" required before it as legally able to sell the property.[13]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lynch, Jake (September 12, 2011). "High Hopes for the Harsimus Embankment: The Fight to Create an Elevated Rail-Trail in New Jersey". Rails-to-Trail Consevervancy. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ Martin, Antoinette (November 5, 2010). "Conflict in Jersey City Over a ‘High Line' Park - In the Region". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ New Jersey Register ID #131 "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Hudson County". NJ DEP - Historic Preservation Office. January 8, 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  4. ^ http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2010/06/25/council-report-dpwjcia-bonding-approved-embankment-deal-moves-forward-and-more/
  5. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/09/federal_judge_rules_for_develo.html
  6. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/09/hudson_county_plans_to_fund_62.html
  7. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2011/05/jersey_city_city_council_rejec.html
  8. ^ http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2011/05/13/jersey-city-rejects-settlement-offer-regarding-6th-street-embankment/
  9. ^ http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2010/10/25/6th-street-embankment-case-heading-to-federal-appeals-court/
  10. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2012/02/federal_appeals_court_rules_je.html
  11. ^ http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2012/02/court_allows_jersey_citys_laws.html
  12. ^ http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2012/02/06/jersey-city-settles-lawsuit-with-the-6th-street-embankment-purchaser-intends-to-make-land-part-of-larger-downtown-park-pending-council-approval/
  13. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2013/10/jersey_city_officials_hailing_embankment_ruling_as_clear_win.html#incart_river

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