175 Water Street

Coenties Slip

Wall Street Triangle

Washington Square Park

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital

Hunterfly Road Houses


Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

Hudson and Bergen Counties, NJ


HBLR photographsThe HBLR, a 21-mile light rail system that joins 8th Street in Bayonne on the south with a Tonnelle Avenue station in North Bergen, was among the first of NJTransit’s many light rail projects. Of concern was the potential impact the line would have on historical properties and archaeological resources along its new and readapted route that ran from Bayonne through Jersey City, Weehawken, and Hoboken to North Bergen. Of major concern was the potential for impacting buried segments of the Morris Canal, an 1838 man-made waterway listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Revolutionary War resources were also a concern in Jersey City’s historic Paulus Hook section.

Joan H. Geismar, Ph.D., was engaged to assess the archaeological potential of the entire line (one of several subsequently investigated). While research indicated that prehistoric resources were a possibility in less built-up areas along the Hudson River, none were found. However, soil boring samples provided data to reconstruct a geological sequence for the local wetlands, a form of mitigation.

Documentary research, field investigations, and monitoring were part of the design/build phase of the project. Morris Canal components were documented in the field, as was a mid-19thcentury combination brick sewer eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Examples of Jersey City’s early industry within the project area included the 1824 Dummer Glass Factory, the 1825 American Pottery, the American Sugar Refinery, the Dixon Crucible Company, and Colgate to name a few. A 19th-century farmstead on Tonnelle Avenue, that included a deep brick well, was also investigated. The New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (NJHPO) approved several reports prepared for review.