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Public Information Centers and Public Hearings

On October 7, 2009, a Public Hearing was held at the Rutherford Borough Hall to provide the interested stakeholders and members of the public an opportunity to comment on the application completed by the Borough of Rutherford with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Green Acres Program. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) provided a brief project update, followed by an opportunity for the public to provide comments. Comments were recorded by a court stenographer.

On March 3, 2009, a Public Hearing was held at the Rutherford Borough Hall to provide the interested stakeholders and members of the public an opportunity to comment on a request filed by the Borough of Rutherford with the NJDEP, Green Acres Program, which proposes to divert 0.039 acres of land in connection with construction of NJDOT's Route 3 Passaic River Crossing project. As compensation for the proposed diversion the Borough of Rutherford proposes to obtain a replacement parcel from NJDOT to be used as Parkland. A brief project update by the NJDOT, followed by an opportunity for public to provide comments. Comments were recorded by a court stenographer.

On September 22, 2008, NJDOT hosted a Public Information Center (PIC) at the Rutherford High School, primarily to provide residents and other interested citizens with updated information on proposed noise barriers for further consideration and information on the Park Avenue Bridge Replacement. Attendees perused boards that illustrated the smart solutions plan view, as well as noise barrier photo simulations and noise contours at locations along Route 3. Representatives from the project team interacted with attendees and addressed their concerns. A brief presentation was made followed by a question and answer session. A total of 109 individuals attended the PIC. Attendees were given an informational brochure and a noise barrier questionnaire to complete during the PIC or mail to the project team. The questionnaires were analyzed and results submitted to John F. Hipp, Mayor of the Borough of Rutherford, with hopes that the information would assist the Borough in its determination of whether to retain or amend the Resolution of Support of the noise barrier construction.

PICs were held for the Borough of Rutherford on June 20, 2008 at the Rutherford Council Chambers in Rutherford for the City of Clifton on July 10, 2008 at Clifton City Hall. Residents and other interested citizens were provided with project updates. They perused boards that discussed/illustrated the smart solutions plan view, the historic structure and Section 106 process, noise barrier photo simulations and noise contours, and the Park Avenue construction contract. Representatives from the project team interacted with attendees and addressed their concerns. Attendees received copies of the project handout which provided additional information about the project.

NJDOT held informal PICs concerning proposed noise barriers for the project on October 12, 2004 in Clifton and October 13, 2004 in Rutherford. At these PICs, the project team presented information about noise, noise walls and the choices the municipalities faced regarding noise from Route 3 and the upcoming roadway construction. As a result of feedback received at the PICs and citizens' responses to the noise wall questionnaires, resolutions of support for the noise walls were enacted by Clifton, Lyndhurst and Rutherford.

A PIC/Public Hearing was held for both the Borough of Rutherford and Township of Lyndhurst on October 8, 2002 at St. Mary's High School in Rutherford, and for the City of Clifton on October 10, 2002 at Clifton City Hall. An informal, open house format was chosen for these PICs so that the project team could offer personalized service to property-owners and other stakeholders seeking information about the benefits and impacts of the proposed Route 3 improvements. More than a dozen project team representatives were on hand to answer questions and discuss on a one-to-one basis the concerns raised by attendees. On display at both locations were large study area maps detailing the proposed reconstruction improvements, as well as aerial photographs, visual and aural simulations of what the area will look and sound like with added noise walls, and computerized models demonstrating future improved traffic flow: copies of the Environmental Assessment and Technical Environmental Studies were available for reference. Available at a sign-in table near the entrance to the PIC were several handouts, including a 4-page project fact sheet with a full-color fold-out map; a comment card seeking community input on the project; and information summarizing results of the cultural resources studies conducted by the NJDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The formal Public Hearings were held at the same time as the PIC; each session beginning with a description of the hearing process by NJDOT, followed by an opportunity for the public to give testimony. Persons wishing to give testimony were asked to sign up to speak at the registration desk, and were called on to speak in the order registered. Each speaker was allowed five minutes to make a presentation, and all oral testimony was recorded by a court stenographer and made part of the project record. Written statements were also accepted and made part of the public record. Appropriate responses to the comments/concerns were prepared and submitted to FHWA for their review and approval. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued by FHWA in June of 2003.

On September 19, 2001, a PIC was held at the Rutherford Municipal Building, to provide the interested Public and Officials with the results of the Project Technical Environmental Studies. These studies included Reports on topics including Socio-economic, Land Use, Wetlands, Ecology, Hazardous Materials, Noise and Air Quality impacts. Archaeological and Historical Architectural investigations in compliance with the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106, were also performed and the results presented. Over 100 members of the public attended the meeting, together with local officials. At the end of the presentation, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions on the environmental presentation or other issues, and were asked to fill out questionnaires, in order to present their concerns.

 
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  Department of Transportation
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  Last Updated:  August 13, 2010