A transformational project that will invest almost a quarter billion dollars into flood mitigation along the Hudson River appears to have finally settled on a design for one of its major components, a hopeful sign for a venture that has already seen its fair share of delays.
Back in 2014, Hoboken was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to move forward with their ambitious Rebuild by Design endeavor. The program, one of the largest flood mitigation efforts in the county, was first conceived by the Federal government following the massive damage that occurred in the region during Hurricane Sandy.
Hoboken’s application to the program was awarded a $230 million grant and years of planning and community meetings have ensued. The scheme seeks to protect both the southern and northern ends of Hoboken from water intrusion via flood walls, infrastructure improvements, and various other components.
The project’s northerly portion envisions a park along the city’s border with Weehawken to guard against future storm surges. Two different concepts for the greenspace were revealed earlier this year by engineering firm AECOM, which will act as an extension to the existing Harborside Park.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla requested that the City Council vote on a resolution to recommend the “meadow” design for the park during their October 21 meeting, and the 8-1 vote has moved the project one step closer to reality.
While the park is designed to fight against flooding, it still features a plethora of amenities. Included in the future Harborside Park extension are a dog run, a waterfront deck area, a pedestrian bridge that features an overlook, an amphitheater, gardens, and both an active use section and a children’s play area.
The process to implement Rebuild By Design has been plagued by delays. Initial funding for the project dictated that it be finished by September 2022, but officials acknowledge that deadline is not going to be met.
Dennis Reinknecht, who manages the Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told The Hudson Reporter earlier this year that the DEP has requested a 24-month extension to complete the work.
Despite the setbacks, the design of the “resist” portion of the endeavor, which includes Cove Park, should be completed by the end of this year.