ABOVE: photo via City of Hoboken
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla just released a statement saying, “On Saturday [June 23], I became aware of serious traffic issues in southwest Hoboken, as a result an underground water meter improvement project by Suez Water. I was extremely frustrated, as I know many of you were, with the congestion.”
Meanwhile, on Friday June 22, the City of Hoboken released a statement at 1:16 p.m. concerning weekend road closures, warning residents to, “Please plan ahead.”
The notice on Friday came after a reader asked hMAG about signs warning of constuction all week.
You were right, Jim… Happy Friday!!!
BREAKING: Construction that was previously announced for next week in the Southwest corner of the city is now taking place THIS WEEKEND, as per a communique just released by the City of Hoboken…https://t.co/yQddboSGrZ
— hMAG (@hMAG) June 22, 2018
The construction, which we were originally told would resume on June 29, is part of the “underground water meter facility upgrades” conducted by SUEZ Water. The initial phase of this project took place in early May, resulting in the exact same traffic woes and administrative harrumphing that came to bear this past weekend.
Over the course of a lot of online fingerpointing via twitter feeds, it has been determined that the project will seemingly last for a number of weeks. And while we knew about this back in May, it has apparently caught some area authorities off guard.
— hMAG (@hMAG) May 11, 2018
As a result, Mayor Bhalla has made the executive decision to go ahead and ask SUEZ exactly what they are doing.
“First thing Monday morning, I met with all of Hoboken’s internal stakeholders, including Business Administrator Stephen Marks, City Construction Manager Peter Balnius, City Engineer Kimberli Craft, Transportation and Parking Director Ryan Sharp, OEM Coordinator Sgt. William Montanez, Sgt. Christopher LaBruno, Lt. James Marnell, Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman, and Communications Manager Santiago Melli-Huber.”
After listing all the chefs in the kitchen, Bhalla states, “Our goal was to address the future impact of this project, which is scheduled to take place over the next several weekends. What happened this past weekend is simply not acceptable, and I made that clear to Suez Water in no uncertain terms.”
Here’s the fun part, where we all sit on the edge of our seats. “To that end, I’ve given Suez by Wednesday at 9 a.m. to present to me a traffic management plan that will ease the pain for Hoboken residents and visitors. If their plan is not acceptable, I am prepared to shut down their project to protect the safety and welfare of Hoboken residents.”
So what’s the traffic going to be like this weekend? Who knows. Hopefully we’ll find out before Friday afternoon… Saturday at the latest.