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Residents: Bayonne Bridge Raining Debris

Friday, March 10, 2017

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The $1.3 billion Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project has resulted in some unintended consequences for nearby residents, according to reports: debris, including tools, wood and concrete, falling to the ground in a populated area.

Staten Island news source reported Wednesday (March 8) that residents in the Port Richmond neighborhood have complained about all manner of materials and implements falling from the bridge construction site during the project, which has been ongoing since 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2019.

Bayonne Bridge
Images: ArnoldReinhold, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Residents say debris, such as tools and concrete, has been falling from the Bayonne Bridge during construction, causing damage to their property that hasn't been properly reimbursed.

Residents have also complained that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is overseeing the job, is not properly compensating them for damage to their property. “They’ll give me $300,” one resident told CBS New York, referring to damage done to her car by falling debris. “It’s going to cost $600 to fix it, and they won’t budge.”

Request for a Net

Vaughn Bellocchio, owner of an auto body shop under the bridge, told SILive that he has petitioned the Port Authority to have the contractor on the job install netting to catch any debris that might fall from the site, but to no avail.

A Port Authority spokesman told the website, "The project's comprehensive safety plan includes tethering tools and materials on the construction site, to prevent them from falling. When high winds are expected or are occurring, workers conduct routine safety walks to remove or tie down any materials on the bridge. At various times, for specific types of work, the project has used tarps and/or netting to catch falling materials.”

Bayonne Bridge

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that it has already spent about $10 million on repairs and other work to minimize the impact of the bridge project on neighboring properties.

Bellocchio told SILive that he had filed $51,000 in claims for damage done to his property and cars he was working on when they were damaged by falling debris, but the lengthy claims process and mixed results in getting reimbursed have led him to give up even trying.

The Port Authority says that it has already spent about $10 million on repairs and other work to minimize the impact of the bridge project on neighboring properties. The agency also attempts to notify residents of any scenarios in which it can foresee the possibility of danger to property from bridge work, so that they can take steps to prevent it.

Open to Traffic

The Bayonne Bridge project recently reached a milestone, when the newly raised deck opened to limited traffic. It currently conveys two lanes, but will have four lanes of traffic and one shared pedestrian-bicycle path when finished.

The bridge deck was raised from 151 feet above the Kill van Kull strait to 215 feet, in order to accommodate the new class of “New Panamax” cargo vessels that are now operating via the new Panama Canal expansion.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Cleanup; Containment; Contractors; North America; Port Authority of New Jersey; Port Authority of New York; Program/Project Management; Safety

Comment from Tony Rangus, (3/10/2017, 12:27 PM)

I guess it will take someone to die or be permanently disabled due to a falling object to get their attention. Then you won't be talking thousands of dollars but multi-millions of dollars.

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