After a Hoboken resident complained about the $230 million Rebuild by Design plan possibly building walls on the waterfront, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner exclaimed “option 1 is dead on arrival” during a public meeting last night.
After officials unveiled the three new design alternatives at a press conference on Tuesday, a public meeting on the project was held at Wallace Elementary School last night.
After some opening remarks from State Department of Environmental Protection officials, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, where some background information was provided as well, the public received a comprehensive overview of each option.
While alternative 1 would boast 98 percent flood rate reduction, it would be the most costly and would require flood barriers to be erected on the waterfront.
Additionally, alternative 2 is calculated to have 86 percent flood rate reduction and would have no impact on the waterfront. However, it would likely reduce space on Washington Street and cause more traffic on 15th Street.
Since alternative 3 would utilize alleyway easement, for an estimated 85 percent flood rate reduction, it is anticipated to have a marginal impact on traffic – though would still possibly reduce space on Washington Street.
During the question and answer session, Evan Fensterstock, a 32-year-old Hoboken resident, said he was against all three options – seeming particularly unhappy with alternative 1.
Spahn, Zimmer and Turner made it a point to respond, with the Weehawken mayor catching the public off guard by stating â€œoption 1 is dead on arrival.â€
Turner later clarified that while statewide officials may still consider alternative 1 a viable option, he doesn’t see it becoming a reality based on the staunch opposition by the affected municipalities.
Flood walls were a serious concern for Hoboken residents during last year’s Rebuild by Design public meetings, however, the concept A plan that would’ve included flood walls on parts of Garden Street has been eliminated.
Furthermore, Zimmer stressed that “flood protection does not have to be an ugly wall” at her State of the City Address last week.