NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A groundbreaking ceremony in New Jersey was held for a brand new pedestrian bridge that will connect Newark Penn Station to the Prudential Center.
Officials say the bridge will increase commuter access to office and retail space in the city, as well as benefit neighborhoods that have limited connectivity to transit options.
The giant walkway will stretch over McCarter Highway, which makes it impossible to get around right now.
Think of it as Newark's version of the High Line on the west side of Manhattan.
Mayor Ras Baraka, Governor Phil Murphy, State Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz, and Newark Municipal Council Members were all on hand at the new Mulberry Commons Pedestrian Bridge.
"Walkability, quality of life, pedestrian access, auto safety, air quality, making sure we have access to recreations, sports and entertainment," Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.
Officials said the project is a key piece of the city's strategy for development in the central business district.
"It's almost unfathomable the impact that this will have connecting the dots as the mayor has said," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Another goal is to build up from many of the parking lots next to Mulberry Commons Park, which would add places in which to live and work, and still park below.
Josh Miller is a Newark resident, and he has also owned businesses in the area since 2008.
"Right now, there's no good, safe way to get from the Ironbound to downtown," he said. "I can walk to work now."
The project is estimated to take between 18 and 24 months.
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