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The Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge project is located within Jersey City (east side of the Hackensack River) and Kearny (west side of the river) in Hudson County. The Wittpenn Bridge carries Route 7 traffic over the Hackensack River and serves as a major connector between Routes 139 and 1&9 Truck (1&9T) to the east, and the New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 15W and Newark/Jersey City Turnpike to the west.

The Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge over the Hackensack River photo.
The Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge over the Hackensack River.

Route 7 is a key component of the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) Portway Corridor, allowing traffic from the west to gain access to the Holland Tunnel and New York City, as well as business and industrial areas within Jersey City. Route 7 also serves as a main trucking route that provides for the movement of people and goods between the New York Metropolitan area and the greater area of Kearny and the Meadowlands. The improvements within this project will strengthen access to and between the Newark-Elizabeth Air/Seaport Complex, intermodal rail facilities, trucking and warehousing/transfer facilities, and the regional surface transportation system. These facilities and their access routes are the front door to global and domestic commerce for New Jersey and the greater metropolitan New York region.

The project consists of the replacement of the Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge over the Hackensack River and the realignment of Fish House Road on the west side of the river. The new bridge will be located north of the existing bridge.

The existing Wittpenn Bridge is a vertical lift bridge that was built in 1930 (pdf 4.1m) and it is 2,169 feet long with 14 deck-girder spans and three through-truss approach spans, two tower spans and a 209-foot vertical lift main span. The bridge currently provides four 10 foot travel lanes (two eastbound and westbound) with no shoulders. There is no physical separation between opposing traffic on the bridge.

The new vertical lift structure will carry two 12 foot through lanes, a 12 foot auxiliary lane and a 8 to 10 foot right shoulder in each direction as well as a six foot sidewalk along the eastbound roadway. An eight foot median consisting of variable width inside shoulders and a median barrier will separate opposing traffic flows. The new structure will accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Also, the new vertical lift bridge will provide for a minimum vertical clearance of 70-feet above Mean High Water (MHW) EL 2.19, in the closed position as compared to 35-feet for the existing lift bridge.

a rendering of the route 7 wittpenn bridge
A rendering of the new Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge.

The replacement of the existing bridge has been designed to address the major needs and goals of the project:

  • Replace the structurally deficient bridge.
  • Meet current design criteria and improve traffic operation and safety.
  • Improve traffic service for the region.
  • Increase vertical clearance over the Hackensack River in the closed position to reduce vehicular and marine traffic conflicts.
  • Reduce maintenance costs and traffic disruptions.
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  Department of Transportation
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  Last Updated:  January 8, 2016