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Harrison Hails a New Era: Grand Opening of the PATH NYC/JC Entrance

Feb 21, 2024
Harrison Path Station New NYC/JC West side Entrance

The Town of Harrison is poised to celebrate a milestone in its storied transit history with the grand opening of the new entrance to the Harrison PATH Station on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at 3 p.m. The modern gateway, located at the 900 Block on the South Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard corner with Guyon Drive, promises enhanced connectivity and convenience for the community.

In a harmonious blend of past and future, the new entrance pays homage to the station's historical roots. The cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which laid the foundation for the Hudson and Manhattan Train Company before it was taken over because of a financial crisis by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has been integrated into the entrance's contemporary facade. There is no word however on the whereabouts of the clock which was also part of the old station façade.  Hopefully, it, too, was saved and preserved for incorporation into the new Path Station.

Former Eastbound Harrison Path Station Building Entrance

The PATH system, a vital lifeline for New Jersey residents working in New York City, stands to benefit greatly from this development. Not only does the new entrance facilitate a smoother flow of the daily commuter ride between Harrison, Journal Square, and New York City, but it also underscores the Port Authority's commitment to accessibility. With an elevator installed, the entrance ensures that all passengers, regardless of mobility, can use the PATH system with ease. The main Harrison Path Station, on the other side of the street, has an elevator but South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. is a busy street and thus crossing the street to gain access to an elevator is stressful if you are walking and worse if you are in a wheelchair.

 2013 Ground Breaking Ceremony Harrison Path Station

The late Mayor Raymond McDonough and then Council members set in motion over 26 years ago the conversion of Harrison’s Historic Industrial Zone into a Residential community. Part of Harrison’s Redevelopment Plan included updating the Harrison Path Station. Eleven years ago in 2013, Mayor Raymond McDonough stood with Port Authority officials and then Governor Chris Christie, and other elected officials for the Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Harrison Path Station.  Mayor McDonough’s vision has come true.  Harrison’s former Industrial Zone is no longer a contaminated industrial zone but a vibrant residential community.  Mayor McDonough’s and then Council’s dream for a better Harrison has come to fruition.  This newest Path entrance is part of that fulfillment of a dream. 

The fulfilled dream and progress, away from a contaminated industrial zone, is a risk ironically because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to use the property adjacent to this newest Path entrance, the former PSE&G Gasworks plant, for building a sludge dewatering plant as part of the dredging of the Passaic River. The proposed plant will accept the worst of the dioxin-laden Agent Orange sludge.

Current Harrison Mayor James Fife on August 29, 2022, stated in a comment, at a Harrison Redevelopment Zone meeting, attempting to divert blame for the lack of Green Space in the form of a Park in the Redevelopment Zone that “Of course, you have the biggest piece Public Service,  the EPA is holding that up.  We were going to do some planning over there but the EPA is going to using it for the [Passaic] river dredge [aka sludge].  We don’t know how long that is going to be it could be 10 years.  But It is up to EPA and PSE&G (Public Service Electric & Gas)  to decide what is going on there.” 

Mayor Fife has avoided at public meetings stating whether he supports or opposes EPA’s sludge dewatering plant.  The plant is next to the Path Station and across the street from luxury residential apartment buildings. Alice Yeh of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated publically that the EPA is currently in negotiations with officials of PSE&G to acquire the property that stretches from the new Path Station to the Jackson Street bridge on the western side of South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. EPA intends to use the property for Passaic River sludge dewatering.

Articles of Interest

Mayor Fife’s Legacy: Green Space Unfilled Promises & EPA Toxic Sludge

EPA Toxic Sludge Plan Worse Than Expected And It Was Already Bad

Video Links:

Highlights of Harrison NJ Town Meeting of Sept.20,2022 where EPA Plan to Dump Agent Orange Discussed

As Harrison undergoes a transformative redevelopment, the new PATH station entrance stands as a testament to the area's growth and investment in infrastructure. Local businesses, residents, and commuters alike are enthusiastic about the potential for increased traffic and the ease of access the new entrance is expected to provide. The EPA’s plan to build a toxic sludge dewatering plan next to the Path Station and across from luxury apartment buildings is not in the redevelopment plan and will reverse the progress made to transform a contaminated industrial zone into a vibrant residential community.  Who wants to live across the street from a dioxin-laden toxic sludge dewatering plant? Or in a Town with such a plant?

The event is open to the public, inviting all to partake in a historic moment that bridges Harrison's rich railroad past with its dynamic future.  Maybe someone can ask Mayor James Fife about whether he opposes the EPA’s plan to build a dewatering plant next to the new Path Station entrance.

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