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Imagine If a Huge Suspension Bridge Connected New Jersey and Queens

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What if?

There are hundreds of bridges in New York City, connecting the five boroughs to one another, as well as to places like upstate, Long Island, and New Jersey. And now, a transportation consultant (from Delaware, but we'll let that go) has proposed another one: the proposal, called the Empire State Gateway, calls for two suspension bridges that would connect New Jersey (via Weehawken) to Manhattan and eventually Queens (via Long Island City).

The proposal, first reported by NJ.com (h/t Untapped Cities), is the brainchild of rail transportation consultant Scott R. Spencer, who calls the project "futuristic." He was inspired to create the proposal after the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) tunnel plan was nixed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Here's what the route might look like, mapped:

Spencer's proposal calls for two side-by-side spans running along 38th and 39th Streets, with the former going east and the latter going west. Each would be a triple-decker suspension bridge, with the lowest level carrying trains; a middle level carrying buses and a light rail (but no trucks or cars); and a top level for cyclists and pedestrians. He estimates that the whole thing would cost $20 billion to construct, and claims that "revenue sources could include tolls for buses, taxis and limos, fees paid by NJ Transit and Amtrak to use the span, transit oriented real estate fees, and revenue from cell phone, TV and radio antennas."

Let's be real: the likelihood of this actually happening is slim, but it's certainly an interesting proposal. (It's not the first time someone has proposed a new bridge to connect Jersey to the five boroughs, either.) What do you think—is it a pie-in-the-sky idea, or something you'd actually want to see happen? Sound off in the comments.


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