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Quick Action Needed for a Threatened New Jersey Railroad Landmark- you can help!

April 6, 2009

The Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Stem Embankment in Jersey City, list as one of PNJ’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey”  in 2006,  continues to face an uncertain future, including potential demolition. While on April 1, the Jersey City HPC voted unanimously to deny the demolition permit filed by the six developers to which Conrail sold the embankment via questionable procedure  in 2005, the developers have now indicated their intent to further pursue demolition via a hardship exemption. More on this intent is to be presented at the next upcoming Embankment Hearing on Tuesday, April 14th.

The Embankment Preservation Coalition is now asking for the public’s help to obtain a comprehensive environmental impact study of the embankment. The Coalition is hoping to flood the Surface Transportation Board with over 1,000 e-mail comments supporting further study of the embankment. E-mails should be directed to the Surface Transportation Board, the entity currently deliberating Conrail’s proposed abandonment of the embankment, and can be submitted directly here. The deadline for submission is April 7 at 4:00pm.

From the Embankment Preservation Coalition:  “The right of way that Conrail is abandoning extends from the Hudson River waterfront to the Embankment and from the western end of the Embankment into the Italian Village area and along an edge of the ancient Jersey City-Harsimus Cemetery. The Cemetery is a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 historic site as well as a historic burial place for Jersey City families. A full environmental impact study for the whole right of way should help decision makers make good choices about this important corridor.”

Submission guidelines and examples, as well as background information, can be found at the Embankment Preservation Coalition website.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Embankment

The Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Embankment

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