Bergen Hill

For the Jersey City neighborhood, see Bergen Hill, Jersey City.
Rail routes across Bergen Hill and their terminals ca. 1900.

Bergen Hill refers to the lower Hudson Palisades in New Jersey, United States, where they emerge on Bergen Neck,[1] which in turn is the peninsula between the Hackensack and Hudson River, and their bays. In Hudson County, it reaches a height of 260 feet.[2]


Western portals of Bergen Hill Tunnels, Long Dock Tunnel, Bergen Arches, and Route One Extension
Western portal of North River Tunnels

Defining features of Bergen Hill include the 19th century and early 20th century railroad right of ways. cuts and tunnels created to provide access to the terminals and ferries on the North River (Hudson River) and Upper New York Bay, and eventually under the river. From south to north they are:

Freight in Bergen Hill Cut


The North Hudson County Railway or its predecessor was responsible for many of the innovative engineering works which made streetcar travel on the east face of Bergen Hill possible, including funicular wagon lifts, an inclined elevated, a luxurious elevator, Horseshoe curves, and viaducts.

Vehicular cuts

Other major excavations and structures for vehicular traffic have significantly altered Bergen Hill. Kennedy Boulevard at Journal Square and Journal Square Transportation Center both span the large ravine created there. The Divided Highway connecting the Pulaski Skyway to the Holland Tunnel runs parallel to the Long Dock Tunnel. The Lincoln Tunnel Approach and Helix connects the Lincoln Tunnel, which itself enters the Palisades before submerging under the Hudson River. Paterson Plank Road, the Wing Viaduct, Hackensack Plank Road, Pershing Road, Gorge Road are located on the face of the cliffs. Shippen Street in Weehawken is small street that makes a double hairpin turn.

Jersey City section

Bergen Hill, Jersey City has sometimes been called colloquially "The Hill",[20] and gives name to The Bergen Hill Historic District[21] Other prominent landmarks on the east side of the hill are the former Jersey City Medical Center (which since 2005 is being renovated and restored as an emerging neighborhood known as Beacon) and the Jersey City High School. Summit Avenue, which starts at The Junction in the Bergen-Lafayette Section follows the route of a path used by Native Americans from their settlement at Communipaw, and was used by New Netherlanders from that village on the bay to the one on the ridge at Bergen. It intersected Newark Plank Road, an early colonial "turnpike" which ran from Paulus Hook over the hill, at Five Corners, and continued north through Bergen Woods[22] where it connected with Paterson Plank Road and Hackensack Plank Road.

See also