DEP HOLDS UPDATE MEETING FOR $230 MILLION REBUILD BY DESIGN PROJECT FOR HOBOKEN, JERSEY CITY AND WEEHAWKEN
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS BEGINS FOR HUD-FUNDED PROJECT TO PROVIDE STORM RESILIENCY TO SANDY-IMPACTED URBAN COMMUNITIES
(15/P59) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in conjunction with Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken, will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday, June 23, as part of the environmental review process for a $230 million project to protect the Hudson River municipalities from flooding.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected the project as one of the winning designs in the Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition, launched to help communities protect themselves and become more resilient following the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
The meeting, open to the public, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Babbio Center, 600 River Street, Hoboken. The purpose of the meeting is to update the public on the project as well as to encourage active community involvement in the development of the project. It will also serve as an opportunity for the public to meet contractor Dewberry Engineers Inc., which has been engaged to complete a Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement.
“The Christie Administration is committed to protecting lives and property through a comprehensive resiliency strategy,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “The Rebuild By Design project for these communities is an important piece of this strategy by calling for a cooperative solution to flooding from the Hudson River. It is a major undertaking that will require extensive input from a wide cross-section of leaders and residents in the three municipalities.”
Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken were hit hard by Sandy’s storm surge but have also been susceptible to flooding in general. The proposed project – called Resist, Delay, Store and Discharge – calls for a combination of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping to defend against storm surge and flooding; interconnected green infrastructure to store and control stormwater runoff; and water pumps and other drainage projects to support controlled drainage during and after storms.
HUD requires an Environmental Impact Statement for the project, a process that involves public participation in developing and evaluating potential alternatives. At a public meeting on May 13, the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors approved the use of an existing NJ TRANSIT contract with Dewberry Engineering for the firm to perform that work, enabling the procurement process to be accelerated and for the work to begin this summer.
HUD has awarded the State $230 million in Community Development Block Grants to administer, design and construct the project, based on the winning concepts developed as part of the Rebuild by Design competition. HUD created the RBD program in 2013 as a way to develop projects capable of improving the physical, ecological and economic resilience of urban coastal areas.
HUD has approved $920 million for Rebuild By Design projects in New Jersey, New York City and New York State. These resiliency projects will be funded by HUD’s Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program for the Sandy-impacted areas.
For more information on the Hudson River project and the Rebuild By Design Meadowlands project, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/floodhazard/index.htm
For more information on the Rebuild by Design program, visit: www.rebuildbydesign.org/