LD-32 legislators applaud NJ Transit for nixing Kearny power plant plan, investing in Hoboken


State Senator Raj Mukherji, Assemblyman John Allen, and Assemblywoman Jessica Ramirez (all LD-32) are applauding NJ Transit for nixing a gas power plant plan in Kearny and proceeding with the $88 million Hoboken Long Slip project.

Photo via njtransitresilienceprogram.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Building a new dirty energy plant in the middle of a densely populated environmental justice community didn’t make sense,” Mukherji, also the vice chair of the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee, said of the proposal in Kearny.

“I applaud NJT’s leadership for investing instead in renewable energy alternatives and appreciate the dedication of funding to fill the Hoboken Long Slip canal, which will enhance transportation efficiency, alleviate congestion, help mitigate flooding and the effects of climate change, and create backup capacity for emergency rail service.”

The Long Slip Fill and Rail Enhancement project will allow NJ Transit to operate train service longer and recover more quickly from storm events, according to the agency.

The project will modify the Long Slip — a 2,000-foot former barge canal adjacent to the Hoboken Terminal Yard — to eliminate it as a conduit for flood water.

Long Slip was affected by the surge created by Superstorm Sandy, contributing to the inundation of Hoboken Terminal and the adjacent Hoboken Yard.

“I’m very proud to have worked with NJ TRANSIT in my first days in office to secure $88 million for the crucial Long Slip canal project that will have tremendous benefits for Hoboken and the surrounding communities, including Jersey City,” noted Allen.

“This crucial infrastructure project will provide important protections from rising sea levels due to climate change, as well as make the essential Hoboken transit hub better able to operate during storms. I look forward to continuing to work with NJ TRANSIT on a wide variety of issues as we push for improved mass transit in Hudson County and throughout the state.”

The canal will be filled to an elevation above the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) base flood elevation, and six new tracks will be constructed on the filled area to serve three high-level ADA-accessible boarding platforms.

The elevated position of tracks and platforms will permit the rapid recovery of commuter rail services to and from Hoboken Terminal and its associated Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) and ferry services.

The main terminal and yard infrastructure are being restored following a storm, and the continuation of services when the terminal and yard are taken out of service in advance of an impending storm.

“This Long Slip canal project will play a vital role in mitigating flooding by effectively managing stormwater runoff, reducing the risk of inundation in vulnerable areas. This sustainable infrastructure project not only enhances flood resilience but will pave the way for job-creating economic development,” Ramirez added.

Later this afternoon, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla echoed a similar sentiment.

“I am grateful for the many environmental activists, led locally by Liz Ndoye, who successfully lobbied NJ Transit and the State to abandon the placement of a fossil-fuel power plant in Kearny, which would have caused havoc on our local environment,” he said in his own statement.

“Instead, these funds will be reallocated for resiliency and infrastructure improvements, including here in Hoboken. As it relates to NJ Transit, while we will always speak out when it adversely impacts residents, such as the recent 15% rate hikes, it is important to applaud the agency when leadership gets it right. And nixing the Kearny power plant and reallocating funds to help prevent flooding at Hoboken Terminal will provide critical, long-term benefits to Hoboken and Jersey City.”


Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

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