Ferry Street to Get a Facelift


Ferry Street, the dining and shopping destination for the Ironbound, will be getting a facelift over the next several months. Fascade improvements include planters, lamps and brick crosswalk, similar to the work just completed at Broad and Market.

I have to admit: after living in the Ironbound for four years, the neighborhood definitely has a grittier feeling as you make your way down Ferry from Penn Station to the Five Corners. And there’s never anyplace to sit along the street unless you feel like stopping into a restaurant — meaning a lot of people are left sitting on corners or stoops.

These improvements should go a long way to make Ferry a much more habitable place for shoppers and diners.

  Before After
Ferry & Adams
Ferry & Van Buren

The $1.9 million project, funded by the City of Newark and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, will focus on Ferry Street. State-of-the-art sidewalks with planters and decorative lighting will be placed down Ferry Street from Union to Merchant Streets. These sidewalks will improve safety for motorists and pedestrians. Berto Construction of Rahway, New Jersey, is the contractor.

CITY OF NEWARK LAUNCHES STREETSCAPING WORK ON FERRY STREET WITH PUBLIC CEREMONY AT MADISON AND FERRY

Phase I construction to begin on October 1 from Union to Madison Streets; massive rehabilitation of Ironbound corridor will improve safety conditions for pedestrians

Newark, NJ – September 30, 2008 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, East Ward Council Member Augusto Amador, and other dignitaries began the streetscaping of Ferry Street with a public ceremony this afternoon. This project is a partnership with the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) and will enhance the Ironbound’s central artery and gateway to businesses and restaurants in the East Ward, as well as improve safety conditions for pedestrians crossing the busy thoroughfares.

The $1.9 million project, funded by the City of Newark and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, will focus on Ferry Street. State-of-the-art sidewalks with planters and decorative lighting will be placed down Ferry Street from Union to Merchant Streets. These sidewalks will improve safety for motorists and pedestrians. Berto Construction of Rahway, New Jersey, is the contractor.

Acting Engineering Director Mehdi Mohammadish said that when construction begins, it will take place daily from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Motorists are urged to plan alternate routes during those times, as only two lanes will be open in each direction. Announcements will be made in advance of the actual work.

The streetscape will reconstruct sidewalks, utilities and drainage, create fence panels and utilize already existing bike paths. New street furniture, signage and traffic lights will also enhance safety and provide sanctuary for pedestrians.

“As part of Newark’s urban transformation we are working to improve the appearance and safety of the Ironbound’s main thoroughfare to ensure a safe and expedient commute for motorists and pedestrians. The completion of this streetscape project will enhance the attractiveness of this dining and shopping destination for our residents and visitors,” Mayor Booker said. “I congratulate our city’s engineering team on continuing with this important project.”

“Ferry Street is the spine of the vibrant Ironbound neighborhood. We want to congratulate Councilman Amador, the Ironbound Business Improvement District, and community stakeholders for advancing the enhancement of this key artery. Streetscape improvement is a form of public investment that yields private sector activity and job production. Combined with our broader business attraction and support efforts, these Ferry Street improvements will make an enormous difference for the Ironbound and for Newark,” said Deputy Mayor Pryor.

“Improving the public environment of our cities, towns and neighborhoods is an important aspect of our responsibilities as elected officials. The Ferry Street Streetscape project represents the realization of a dream held by a number of stakeholders throughout the community over the last four or five years. The rehabilitation of the street’s sidewalks and the replacement of its public lighting, signage, and so on, will offer a friendlier environment to those who visit the Ironbound to shop or dine. I’m happy that Mayor Booker has committed to the type of partnership with our community that results in benefits such as this project,” said Council Member Amador.

“This streetscape project is an example of how government and business working together can successfully move a community forward. We are proud of our team including professionals, citizens, government, and the Ironbound community for hanging in there to make this happen and to continue work the work necessary to complete the entire project from Penn Station to Christie Street.” said Seth A. Grossman, the Ironbound Business Improvement District’s Executive Director.

John P. Williams, MKW + Associates, LLC, of Rutherford, NJ, and principal architect of the project explained, “All of us at MKW are very pleased that this first phase of the Ferry Street Streetscape project is about to begin construction. Our design for this streetscape is unique, and very much a reflection of the vitality, diversity, and culture of this wonderful neighborhood and of the City of Newark itself. The patterns, colors and rhythm of the sidewalks, coupled with new shade trees and distinctive street lighting, help to strengthen and enhance the image and identity of the Ironbound community. This streetscape design is the result of a long and fruitful collaboration with the City, the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID), and, most importantly, the local community. City of Newark and IBID committee meetings and discussions and several major public presentations helped us to develop a streetscape design that expresses the Ironbound community’s vision for the future.”

IBID President Steven T. Yglesias noted that effective public/private partnerships and shared goals for the Ironbound and the City of Newark were key factors in making the streetscape project a reality. “The Ferry Street project has been greatly anticipated and represents years of effort and commitment to the Ironbound community on the part of the IBID’s board of directors and its executive director, Seth Grossman,” Yglesias stated. “The IBID appreciates the support of Mayor Booker, Councilman Amador and the entire Municipal Council in moving this project forward to extend and enhance ongoing redevelopment efforts linking the Ironbound to other parts of the City.”

“The project adds to the quality of Ferry Street,” said Manny Lopes, Owner of Newark Paint & Hardware on Ferry Street.

Acting Engineering Director Mohammadish noted that the launching of the Ferry Street project is beginning just as the second phase of the Broad Street Streetscaping is being completed. “We are moving forward on all of our streetscaping projects,” Director Mohammadish said. “Our city’s major arteries will be safer, more efficient, and more attractive for pedestrians and motorists alike.”

Phase I of the Ferry Street Streetscaping is expected to be completed by May 2009. The Newark Urban Eneterprise Zone is providing $2 million to fund Phase II of the Ferry Street Streetscape Project which will cover Madison Street to Merchant Street (Five Corners), and is scheduled to begin in Summer 2009.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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