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Feasibility & Community Engagement to Get Funding for Rebuild by Design Hudson River

Hoboken , NJ , United States
At a Glance: The Rebuild By Design (RBD) Hudson River project includes comprehensive resilience measures to deal with sea level rise and coastal flooding in Hoboken, Weehawken and Jersey City. It is the first RBD project to receive full funding authorization by the federal government.
The challenges this project addresses are: Flooding, Coastal & Tidal Flooding, Hurricanes & Severe Storms, Sea Level Rise, Stormwater Management, Citizen Engagement
The devastation of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 led many impacted communities along the East Coast to start exploring long-term solutions to address sea level rise and coastal flooding. The State of New Jersey, and in particular the entire city of Hoboken and parts of Weehawken and Jersey City developed The Rebuild By Design Hudson River project that proposed resilience measures including: Coastal and/or inland hard infrastructure for surge defense; Urban infrastructure to collect and slow rainwater runoff; Water pumps and alternative routes to support drainage with mechanical or gravity discharge of rainwater. This proposal was awarded $230 million in funding from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program pending approval of required feasibility and community engagement work. Because of the transformative nature of this undertaking, along with the fact that it was proposed in a densely populated community, a robust, engaging public outreach effort was necessary.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection used/is using feasibility studies & environmental impact statements to address this/these challenge(s).
In June 2015, Dewberry, as prime consultant, partnered with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to prepare the required feasibility study and environmental impact statement (EIS) for the RBD Hudson River project. The EIS incorporated technical studies on everything from natural resources and socioeconomics, to land use, historic preservation, and visual resources. These studies focused on ensuring that the project would maximize protection to the community, while minimizing potential negative impacts to the built, natural, and social environment. The Feasibility Study identified, developed and investigated a range of potential specific, implementable solutions that could be used to achieve the overarching RBD Hudson River strategy. Through the process Dewberry took a long list of potential options, ultimately recommended a solution to the community that would deliver the best value – in terms of flood risk reduction, constructability, viability, and impacts to a citizen’s everyday life.
Outcomes:
  • Approval by HUD to advance into final design and construction.
  • In October 2017, the federal government released the full $230 million CDBG-DR grant funds to the State of New Jersey for the project
Something Unique: Rebuild by Design Hudson River is the first RBD project to receive full funding authorization by the federal government.