BAYONNE - Bayonne residents who live near the Bayonne Bridge say large flakes of lead paint are falling off the bridge and onto their yards.
The bridge will be raised by 100 feet to accommodate larger freight container deliveries brought in to New Jersey's ports by cargo ship. The Port Authority, who is overseeing the project, sends teams out to clear up the paint chips that fall. The agency is also power washing the homes.
Resident Mark Orlowski, who lives by the bridge, appreciates that effort, but says he wants more to be done.
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"They're picking up the chips they can see. What about everything that's dust, lead-based, they can't see?" he asks.
Orlowski says he wants the bridge ramp as well as the entire bridge to be covered in a tarp to keep the paint flakes from falling onto his and his neighbors' properties.
In a statement the Port Authority has said, "It would be impractical to tarp the entire bridge and still perform ongoing construction work...chips are only hazardous if they are ingested."
Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski tells News 12 New Jersey that she is concerned. She says the city will be conducting soil samples in the area to check for any contamination.
The Port Authority says that air monitors placed in Bayonne have not shown any ill effects to the environment.