The Hudson Reporter: A project that aims to protect Hoboken from flooding caused by storm surges like Hurricane Sandy may miss its funding deadline.

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which hosted a public meeting on the project on Dec. 12, the Rebuild By Design project team has already requested an extension from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to complete the plan, which would create a resist structure in portions of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken.

HUD awarded the project a $230 million grant in 2014.

To get the funds, the project had a completion deadline of September 2022, but Dennis Reinknecht of the Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures for the NJ DEP, said that design complications have delayed the project. The construction schedule would have to be compressed in order to make up for lost time.

This would require extended construction hours, weekend construction, multiple simultaneous road closures throughout the city, and would adversely affect the quality of life in Hoboken.

“It would be intolerable,”  Reinknecht said.

“Workers and community safety would have to be considered,” he said, adding that schedule compression would drive up the cost of construction.

“What we are finding is making up that time is not looking realistic,” he said.

Challenges and Scheduling

“The project timeline is aggressive with little room to overcome normal project general issues,” Reinknecht said.

He said the project has had significant challenges, causing a delay in the start of construction, including needing to find a gate that can cross the light rail tracks at 19th Street in Weehawken; obtaining easements for properties where the Rebuild by Design’s resist structure will be constructed, which is “taking longer than anticipated;” and additional investigating of the subsurface to determine where all utilities are buried.

He noted that permits for the project require that all property easements be resolved before permits are approved.

“The team is working hard to resolve these issues during the next few months,” Reinknecht said.

Because of these challenges, he said the Rebuild by Design team expects the design and bid phase of the project to be completed by the end of 2020, with the final project completed after the September 2022 deadline because the DEP has requested a 24-month extension.

“I feel that that schedule extension should be granted, and I think it will be granted,”Reinknecht said. “We deserve it.” Read more>>