Officials innovate on Rebuild By Design

Local, state and federal officials, including Governor Phil Murphy and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge have started the Rebuild by Design project.


Local, state and federal officials, including Governor Phil Murphy and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge have started the Rebuild by Design project.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, Governor Phil Murphy, lawmakers and local officials this week kicked off the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project in Hoboken.

The resilient infrastructure project, made possible with $ 230 million in funding from the recovery of Superstorm Sandy from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, aims to protect Hoboken and parts of Jersey City and Weehawken from flooding due storm surges and rising sea level threats posed by climate change. .

Murphy and Fudge celebrated the grand opening alongside several federal, state and local partners, including US Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Albio Sires, Acting New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and former Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

“Super Storm Sandy devastated communities across the Tri-State region,” Fudge said. “We needed bold action to rebuild and prevent damage from future natural disasters. I am proud to join Governor Murphy in this groundbreaking project made possible through a partnership between local, state and federal governments. This site is one example of the powerful promise of investing in our infrastructure to ensure more resilient and prosperous communities for generations to come. “

“Our partnership with the federal and local government to build a stronger, more resilient future for New Jersey’s waterfront communities is transformational,” said Murphy. “The comprehensive and innovative Rebuild by Design infrastructure project will mitigate the range of weaknesses along the Hudson River exposed by Superstorm Sandy and provide a suite of innovative solutions to deal with sea level rise. and forward looking that will make our communities more resilient to the adverse effects of climate change, while creating well-paying jobs, is the future of America’s infrastructure.

Years in the making

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development authorized funding for the project in 2014 as part of a design competition that followed widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

The storm turned Hoboken into a “full-fledged island” with parts of the city under seven feet of water and residents stranded without electricity, heating and drinking water.

The project which aims to protect against future storms consists of four integrated components: resist, delay, store and discharge.

They include a combination of physical infrastructure and flexible landscaping to defend against storm surges and flooding, interconnected infrastructure to store and control stormwater runoff, and water pumps and other construction projects. drainage to support controlled drainage during and after storms.

The inauguration comes after years of hard work by the NJ DEP, local planners and residents who participated in public community meetings, stakeholder meetings, workshops and surveys.

It 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 parts of Hoboken’s aging infrastructure.

This work will convert parts of the region’s combined sewer system into separate pipes for sanitary and storm water.

Construction will begin at 20 downtown locations, 14 of which will take place overnight, spanning approximately seven months from the border of the New Jersey Transit rail lines north to at about third street. This work will pave the way for the installation of flood risk reduction infrastructure.

This infrastructure includes hard structures such as an 8,846 foot resistance barrier or flood wall from ground level up to 11 feet in some locations, deployable gates and underground foundations as well as elements of landscape architecture and a new park in the north of Hoboken along the waterfront.

The reserve structure will be located mainly in the south and north of Hoboken.

The south barrier would start on the east side of Washington Street at Newark Street and extend south toward Observer Highway. The barrier would start at roughly ground level before climbing up to about six feet near the intersection of Washington Street and the Observer Highway.

In Washington and Observer, a rolling door would be deployed to block the street during a storm surge. The barrier would cross NJ Transit property behind the NJ Transit pumping station and extend west out of public view. It would then reappear on the Observer Highway about 11 feet high in front of the NJ Transit engine room.

From there, the barrier would continue west along the southern portion of the Observer Highway cycle lane in front of the engine room before turning again onto the NJ Transit property, where it will continue towards the boulevard Marin.

The North Gate will extend from 19th Street to Weehawken past Weehawken Cove through what will be Hoboken Cove Park to 15th and Garden Street.

It will then follow Garden Street to the alley between 14th and 15th Streets, then turn right onto Washington Street before stopping at 13th Street.

The reserve structure will be built from ground level near 13th Street to over six feet in height near Garden and 15th Streets.

Construction of the reserve structure is expected to begin in early 2022.

Originally, the project had a completion deadline of September 2022, which the team is expected to meet to receive the $ 230 million in relief funds.

Last year, the funding deadline was extended to September 2023, but, according to Dennis Reinknecht of the Office of Flood Risk Reduction Measures for the NJ DEP, the DEP is asking for a two-year extension. to complete the project by the end of 2025.

“Climate change is not a distant prospect; it’s here now, and its impacts on New Jersey communities will only get worse, ”said Shawn LaTourette, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “The Rebuild-by-Design Hudson River project is an innovative investment in New Jersey infrastructure and an example of climate resilience engineering that will help protect New Jersey from climate threats. When fully completed, RBD-Hudson River will protect lives, property and infrastructure along the Hudson River, and is just one of many landmark efforts New Jersey is undertaking to reduce climate change and y reply.

A model of resilience

“Help is finally here for Hoboken in our efforts to dramatically reduce the risk of flooding with today’s historic revolution of Rebuild by Design,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “This project will now serve as a model for the rest of the country, incorporating proven resilience features with community amenities and a park that will help prevent storm surges from penetrating our community, as it did during Storm Sandy.” I am very grateful to our government partners at the federal, state and local levels for their unwavering commitment to helping Hoboken adapt to climate change, and I look forward to the project’s completion in the years to come.

Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said: “We are starting now! It was an extremely complicated and sometimes difficult process. I want to thank everyone who is involved in this great endeavor. I look forward to his competition for the safety of the residents of Weehawken, Hoboken and Jersey City. “

For updates on this and other stories, visit and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be contacted at [email protected]

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