Construction begins for water infrastructure overhaul in Hoboken

May 10, 2021
The $230 million Rebuild by Design Hudson River Project in Hoboken will address both the city's CSOs and flood risk

HOBOKEN – On Thursday, May 6 Gov. Phil Murphy and United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge broke ground on the Rebuild by Design Hudson River Project in Hoboken.

The infrastructure project, made possible by over $230 million in Superstorm Sandy recovery funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been in the planning stages for several years and will protect communities along the Hudson River from storm surge flooding and rising sea-level threats posed by climate change.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development authorized funding for the project as part of a design competition that followed widespread flooding from Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

The Rebuild by Design project is a national model for resilient infrastructure and the project’s comprehensive approach to resilience consists of four integrated components -- resist, delay, store and discharge -- to manage storm surge. These components include a combination of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping to defend against storm surge and flooding, interconnected infrastructure to store and control stormwater runoff, and water pumps and other drainage projects to support controlled drainage during and after storms.

The groundbreaking represents the start of construction on the first phase of the project, a $5.26 million investment in modifications that include much-needed upgrades to portions of Hoboken’s aging infrastructure. The work will convert portions of the area’s combined sewer system into separate sanitary and stormwater lines - an essential first step in improving stormwater management and a critical aspect of municipal resilience. The work will pave the way for the larger contract to install flood-risk reduction infrastructure.

The Resist structure design consists of an 8,846-foot series of flood walls, barriers, roller gates and other measures to provide flood risk reduction to the population and infrastructure within the project area’s 100-year floodplain.

This work will also protect critical infrastructure, including hospitals, emergency services such as firehouses and a hospital, and the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s treatment plan. Construction of the Resist structure is scheduled to start in early 2022 and will run through 2025.

“Superstorm Sandy devastated communities throughout the tri-state region,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We needed bold action to rebuild and prevent damage from future natural disasters. I am proud to join Governor Murphy in this groundbreaking, made possible by a partnership between local, state, and federal government. This site is an example of the powerful promise of investing in our infrastructure to ensure more resilient and prosperous communities for generations to come.”

“We know that severe flooding can completely upend people’s lives for years as they struggle to deal with the damage to their property, finances, and physical and mental health,” said Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “That is why the State is proud to be investing resources into programs like the one we are announcing today that are proven to reduce people’s long-term risk of severe flooding and to promote more resilient communities.”

“Climate change is not some far off prospect; it is here now, and its impacts on New Jersey communities will only worsen,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “Once fully complete, RBD-Hudson River will protect lives, property and infrastructure along the Hudson River, and represents just one of many nation-leading efforts that New Jersey is undertaking to reduce and respond to climate change.”

“Hoboken is truly on the frontline of climate change, experiencing what would have been a 50 year-occasional flood every few months,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. “Mayor Bhalla and the Murphy Administration know the tremendous risks that Hoboken, a cultural gem of New Jersey, is facing. This transformative project will help mitigate the damage to homeowners and businesses from stormwater runoff. We must continue to invest in our communities and shared infrastructures, and at a time when we need to get people back to work and build a more sustainable and equitable New Jersey, this is a great step in the right direction."

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has worked closely with the Hudson river communities since 2014 to design a project that works seamlessly to enhance the aesthetics of the community.

More about the Rebuild by Design Hudson River Project can be found at: https://www.nj.gov/dep/floodresilience/rbd-hudsonriver.htm

SOURCE: New Jersey Office of the Governor

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