State Officials Announce Two Key Projects to Safeguard Hudson River and Meadowlands Communities Against Climate Change-Induced Flooding.
In alignment with Climate Week, New Jersey's Commissioner of Environmental Protection, Shawn M. LaTourette, revealed a nearly $298 million investment in pioneering flood-resilience projects for areas in and around the Hudson River and the Meadowlands, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rebuild by Design competition grant program.
Governor Phil Murphy and Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette disclosed the ambitious plans, which target Hoboken and parts of Jersey City and Weehawken, along with the Meadowlands communities of Little Ferry, Carlstadt, Moonachie, South Hackensack, and Teterboro. The announcement comes during Climate Week, a period designated to raise public awareness about climate change and resilience measures.
"These projects are integral components of the Murphy Administration's comprehensive strategies to make the state more resilient," said Commissioner LaTourette. "We look forward to officially breaking ground in the coming weeks."
The Projects at a Glance
E.E. Cruz & Company of Whitestone, New York, has been granted a $251 million contract for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River (RBD-Hudson) Project. This involves constructing floodwalls, berms, and levees to provide resistance against extreme high tide and storm surge events. The project, set to begin in early 2024, will integrate aesthetic elements, such as seating and educational murals, at Harborside Park in Hoboken, which will be renamed Cove Park.
Union Paving & Construction Company of Mountainside, New Jersey, was awarded a $46.6 million contract for the Rebuild by Design Meadowlands (RBD-Meadowlands) Project. The work includes installing a new pump station and force main in Little Ferry to improve drainage in the Losen Slote Creek watershed, with construction beginning this fall.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla of Hoboken expressed that the project would render 80 percent of Hoboken free from flood zones. "I look forward to breaking ground on the resist element at Harborside Park in the coming months," said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla.
Mayor Mauro Raguseo of Little Ferry highlighted the importance of the project for his community, stating, "When completed, this project will have a measurable impact in preventing flooding in a large area of our community."
Funding and Community Engagement
In addition to the initial awards, both projects have received extra funding from the American Rescue Plan and FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities fund. Community engagement remains a cornerstone, with DEP encouraging public participation throughout the nine-year planning process and pledging ongoing involvement.
As the climate crisis intensifies, these two landmark projects signify New Jersey's forward-thinking approach to safeguarding its vulnerable communities. With ground-breaking ceremonies expected soon, residents are one step closer to a safer, more resilient future.