Hoboken halfway done with 1st phase of project to replace city’s aging water mains

Hoboken city officials say that crews are halfway done with the first phase of a major project to replace the city’s aging water infrastructure.
Crews were out at Bloomfield Avenue and Second Street on Friday putting in a brand-new water main.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla says that although the replacement project can be loud and inconvenient to residents, it will be worth all of the hassle.
“What we're seeing here in real-time is historic because Hoboken is replacing water mains before they break instead of reacting to water mains once they break,” Bhalla says.
The project will put in 7,000 linear feet of new water mains citywide by the summer, or about 15 blocks’ worth.
Bhalla says that the city “identified the 67 most-vulnerable areas, targeting those areas first and then going forward from there.”
Friday’s milestone comes just days after a major water main break on Willow Street, causing a flood outside the Trader Joe’s and inconveniencing many Hoboken residents. Bhalla says that while he can’t promise that water main breaks will be a thing of the past, he says that the proactive effort the city is taking will help cut down on how many of them the city has to deal with.
“We have not seen a major water main break, apart from last weekend, in probably at least a year and a half. And that’s in no small part to these proactive measures,” Bhalla says.
Bhalla says that it is important to make sure that the city’s infrastructure is solid and can accommodate urban growth.
“This is the first time in decades we are really taking control of our destiny,” he says.
The project was made possible through a new contract with SUEZ Water. The plan is to finish the first face of the project and then pave all of the roads that were dug up in the spring and summer. Phase two will start toward the end of the year or in early 2021.