After seeing the city’s southern artery choked off last weekend due to a SUEZ Water construction project, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla demanded that the utility and other jurisdictions present, “a traffic management plan that will ease the pain for Hoboken residents and visitors.”
He gave his ultimatum with a deadline of Wednesday. Dissatisfied with the response, the Mayor announced he has pulled the plug on the project.
“The plan they presented me with this morning was unacceptable and left me with no confidence that preparations are in place for a responsible traffic control plan this weekend, leading up to the Independence Day holiday,” said Bhalla, in a statement on Wednesday.
In addition to this project in the Southwest of Hoboken, NJDOT will be working on Route 495, which is the inbound link on Hoboken’s northern edge. These two projects running concurrently would essentially leave the city cut off at both ends. With the Pulaski Skyway set to reopen next week, the roads in Southwest Hoboken will be heavily traveled in weeks to come.
Meanwhile, SUEZ needs to finish its work—but not before a better plan is put in place.
“I have directed that this project be shut down, effective immediately and until further notice,” says Bhalla. “Because of this decision, the exit from and entry to Hoboken from Jersey Avenue will be now open over the weekend, and residents will have all exit and entry roads in the southwest area of Hoboken available for their use this holiday weekend.”
hMAG asked the City of Hoboken what terms they’d considered acceptable to allow the SUEZ project to proceed, but we have yet to hear any specific solutions.
“My first priority as Mayor is to the safety and well-being of the residents of Hoboken,” said Bhalla, in his statement. “Until SUEZ can credibly establish that they are taking our concerns seriously, this project will be placed on hold. Due to the nature of this project, the delays caused will have no negative impact on Hoboken’s water service.”