Top HUD official, Menendez tour Hoboken to evaluate Rebuild by Design projects

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A top official with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), toured Hoboken yesterday to evaluate the progress on the $230 Rebuild by Design flood prevention project that is funded by the federal agency.

From left to right: U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey Lynne Patton. Photo courtesy of HUD.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Superstorm Sandy took the lives of no less than 37 New Jersey residents and caused more than $30 billion dollars in damage.  One of the most powerful images seared in the memory of millions of Americans was the endless cascade of water flowing down the steps of the PATH station right here in Hoboken – a city underwater,” , HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey Lynne Patton said in a statement.

“Through HUD’s $230 million award, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City are ensuring their residents will never suffer from such a nightmare again.  Thanks to proactive elected officials such as Senators Menendez and Booker, as well as Mayors Bhalla and Turner, this pioneering project by Rebuild by Design will improve the physical, ecological, economic and social resiliency of the great Garden state.”

Bhalla and Turner joined Patton, Menendez, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe, as well as representatives from New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and Department of Environmental Protection, for a walking tour.

The tour included stops at Weehawken Cove, the Alleyway Resist Alignment, Northwest Resiliency Park, the Hoboken Housing Authority, and the NJ Transit Yards.

“After Sandy devastated our state, it was clear that New Jersey communities needed to take bold steps to protect their residents and property from the threat of future flooding and more powerful and more frequent storms.  I was proud to support and secure $230 million in federal funding for Hoboken’s ‘Rebuild By Design’ project,” added Menendez.

“It is the kind of long-term, comprehensive approach to flood mitigation and resiliency that can serve as a model for other urban areas grappling with repetitive flooding.

The competition also represented a policy innovation by committing to set aside HUD CDBG-DR funding specifically to incentivize the implementation of winning projects and proposals.

“ … With the leadership of Ms. Patton along with our federal and state elected officials, Hoboken will become a model for creating critical flood infrastructure that can be replicated across the country,” Bhalla noted. “We look forward to a continued partnership with HUD as we break ground on construction for Rebuild by Design later this year.”

Menendez was in Hoboken last week to announce $14 million in FEMA grants that were being allocated to the Northwest Resiliency Park project.

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