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Dust Concerns Halt Bayonne Work

Friday, April 21, 2017

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Demolition work on part of the Bayonne Bridge halted for more than a day this week due to what officials called "excessive dust" coming from a project that's had its share of debris issues.

Last month, residents near the site of the $1.3 billion Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, in which a new deck has been installed 215 above the water, voiced concerns about debris, including tools, wood and concrete, falling to the ground in a populated area. On Monday afternoon (April 17), it was dust from the demolition of  the old span between Bayonne, New Jersey, and Staten Island that caused a commotion. 

Demolition work was briefly suspended at 2 p.m. Monday because of excessive dust conditions, Bayonne city officials said, and resumed Wednesday morning with additional dust controls in place.

Dust and the Wind

According to, residents in the construction area of near the Fourth Street entrance ramp told Bayonne officials around noon on Monday that there was an excessive amount of dust and particle matter in the air. City business administrator Joe DeMarco and other officials, including the city's health officer and First Ward Councilman Tommy Cotter, met with Port Authority officials. They requested the project be suspended until the issue could be resolved.

"The Port Authority is requiring the contractor to contain dust by using multiple water hoses that are deployed from elevated mobile platforms," Neal Buccino, a spokesman for the Port Authority, told the website.

Work on the bridge resumed Wednesday morning.

DeMarco told the dust conditions were exacerbated by high winds. The conditions began to worsen when construction officials moved demolition work to higher portions of the bridge.

"(The Port Authority) doesn't want to lose any days of construction, so that should minimize the issue going forward," DeMarco said, according the news site.

ArnoldReinhold, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The new elevated Bayonne Bridge roadway, which connects Bayonne, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York, opened to traffic on Feb. 20, with one lane in each direction and a cashless tolling system.

The Port Authority has also added construction inspectors in the surrounding neighborhood to monitor the area for dust conditions, Buccino said. The agency will hand-deliver car-wash vouchers and set up appointments for power washing and window-cleaning services for affected residents.

Recurring Issues

In March, residents of Staten Island's Port Richmond neighborhood expressed concerns about materials and implements falling from the Bayonne Bridge construction site during the project, which has been ongoing since 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2019.

The new elevated Bayonne Bridge roadway, which connects Bayonne, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York, opened to traffic Feb. 20, with one lane in each direction and a cashless tolling system. Two lanes have been opened so far, and it will have four lanes of traffic and one shared pedestrian-bicycle path when finished.


Tagged categories: Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC); Bridges; Containment; Demolition; Health and safety; Port Authority of New Jersey

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