The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey opened the pedestrian/cyclist walkway on the new Goethals Bridge on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The new pair of bridges replaces the 1928 built, single span Goethals, which has been demolished. The bridge was named for Major General George Washington Goethals, who supervised construction of the Panama Canal and was the first consulting engineer of the Port Authority. The eastbound span of the new Goethals was opened to highway traffic June 10, 2017, at which time the original span was closed; it was dismantled in January 2018. The new westbound span, which carries the pedestrian walkway, opened May 21, 2018. The pedestrian walkway was set to debut by mid-2018 but took a year and a half longer to open.
The new walkway provides stunning views of marine activity on the river below, and as a bonus, train activity on the AK lift bridge linking Elizabeth, N.J., with Staten Island, N.Y., as well as trains on Conrail’s Garden State Secondary, nee-Jersey Central Perth Amboy & Elizabeth branch; once utilized by CNJ trains to the North Jersey Coast.
AK bridge, named for the Arthur Kill that it spans, is considered to be the longest vertical lift rail bridge in the world,. It was built by the B&O in 1959 to replace an earlier swing bridge, connecting the national freight network (former Lehigh Valley and CNJ) in Cranford, NJ to Staten Island.