Hoboken moving forward with $175M PSE&G project on Madison Street

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Despite concerns of above ground power lines, the Hoboken City Council unanimously approved resolution authorizing agreement between Hoboken and PSE&G, specifically the transfer of the Madison Street property: an estimated $175 million project.

Over 60 Hoboken residents were in attendance to learn about the Madison Street Substation from a presentation by PSE&G Transmission Projects Director Isabel Goncalves Rooney.

The major concern across the council was the exposed power lines, especially after the recent fire that occurred in Hoboken on April 14.

Hoboken 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos pointed out that the fire department’s “ladder was unable to go up because all the power lines were dangling the fire fighters had to climb up adjacent residents to get to the rooftop.”

Additionally, Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco motioned to “table this with the asking of the administration to ask PSE & G whether they would accept a deed with a covenant that utilities be buried.”

According to Hoboken Community Development Director Brandy Forbes, PSE&G going to underground what they can and as far as the substation, the service lines are above ground, to replace it underground would mean every individual property would have to pay for their own service lines and the cost for the property owner would be higher.

Forbes also explained that the properties have been recently appraised with the city owned property at $4,915,000 and Marshall Street property is valued at $3,670,000. PSE&G would pay values of the difference to the city.

Other benefits to the City of Hoboken include PSE&G’s is commitment to collaborating with the City of Hoboken and Hoboken based Nastasil Architects with design of the new.

The combination of the two substations would also allow the release of Marshall Street substation to the City of Hoboken.

During the presentation, Rooney stated that that PSE&G has executed a total of $143 million and planned $ 175.3 million in capital investments to Hoboken.

For the Madison Street Substation Project, it was originally supposed to be called the Madison Street and Marshall Street Substation, but the project was combined because the Marshall substation brings spatial concerns.

“It was really going to be almost impossible for a building construction perspective to do the work that was necessary at that station,” explained Rooney.

The first part of the project is to raise and rebuild the 4KV infrastructure which will allow construction without disrupting service to the customers and remediate the Marshall Street Substation. That will take place on the property owned by Hoboken.

This cost would be $68.8 million and is expected to be completed by 2018. Once all customers are switched to the new infrastructure PSE&G will raise and replace the infrastructure systematically. This would cost $106 million and be completed by 2020.

DeFusco‘s motion failed, with Russo, Ramos and Councilman-At-Large David Mello supporting it.

Ultimately, it was a 9-0 vote to pass the resolution on the transfer of Madison property for the PSE&G Energy Resiliency Project.

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