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Rebuild By Design Resiliency Projects: A Status Update

October 28th, 2015 by

New Jersey Future’s comments on both stress the need to adopt climate projections, engage communities

Rendering of the New Meadowlands Rebuild By Design project.

Rendering of the New Meadowlands Rebuild By Design project.

New Jersey Future recently submitted comments on two proposals related to New Jersey’s multi-million dollar Rebuild By Design projects, which are intended to make the Meadowlands and Hudson River shoreline areas more disaster-resilient.

The New Meadowlands project is the target for additional funding in the state’s final-round application to the federal National Disaster Resilience Competition, which proposes construction of a berm as a flood-protection measure. The Hudson River project Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge, which provides a multi-pronged strategy to manage stormwater in and around Hoboken, is the subject of a draft scope of work for engineering services. New Jersey Future submitted comments on the draft final-round NDRC application, and on the draft scoping document for the Hoboken project.

Several common themes emerged in both sets of comments and recommendations:

  • Both initiatives should adopt a set of sea-level rise projections through 2075 and 2100, since the useful life of the proposed infrastructure is at least 50 years, and both initiatives should select projects based on a comprehensive cost-and-benefit analysis over that time period;
  • In addition to employing floodwalls or berms to address more severe coastal flooding, both initiatives should incorporate green-infrastructure techniques that can mitigate the recurring nuisance flooding that happens after regular rainstorms;
  • Both initiatives should make greater efforts to engage with, vulnerable populations — for example, the elderly, those with limited English proficiency, and the disabled — to ensure that their needs are addressed in the projects.

Both projects are on a fast track to allow them to meet federal deadlines for the obligation and expenditure of funds. They can be followed on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s flood hazard program page.

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