Saturday, January 28, 2023

New York and New Jersey residents question $52 billion storm protection plan

New Jersey – People are asking questions about a stormwater protection proposal for New York and New Jersey that would be one of the largest and most expensive flood control projects ever undertaken in the United States, aimed at preventing the devastating types of floods have to stop. by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

At a public hearing Wednesday night on a proposed $52 billion project by the US Army Corps of Engineers, some wanted to know where all the water from the storm locks would go.

Others wanted to know why the plan didn’t address much of the problem.

And one had a direct question to the Army Corps.

“When has the Corps of Engineers defeated Mother Nature?” asked David Merwin, who lives in Old Bridge, New Jersey, a Raritan bayfront community. “Where have you done a project in which you live?”

The hearing at a yacht club in the working-class community of Raritan Bay was one of the first public hearings on a massive hurricane protection plan launched by the Army Corps in September.

The agency is proposing to build mobile barriers and gates across creeks, rivers and other waterways in the two states most affected by the October 2012 hurricanes.

Various industrial canals, creeks, and other urban waterways in New York City include the construction of sea gates, the tidal strait separating Staten Island from New Jersey, and the mouth of New Jersey’s Hackensack and Passaic rivers in the prairie region.

The gates will be open during calm periods and may be closed when major storms occur. But the proposed barriers have drawn opposition from property owners who care about how they will look, and environmentalists concerned about adverse effects on water quality and natural ecosystems.

Coastal barriers, including flood walls, levees and elevated walkways, will be built in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan in New York and Jersey City and Newark in New Jersey.

The plan also calls for natural solutions such as wetland restoration and the creation of “living shorelines”, with features such as oyster colonies to reduce the force of incoming waves at various locations, to complement engineering projects undertaken by men. Designed with.

Work won’t start until 2030 at the earliest and won’t be completed until 2044.

The plan tentatively chosen by the Army Corps was one of five options, which ranged from doing nothing to doing much more than what is currently proposed.

The more ambitious option would include more flood control measures in more places in New York and New Jersey, including a 7.4-mile (12-kilometer) flood barrier along the two states’ coasts centered on New York Harbor, which would be the longest storm surge to date. According to Cor, the obstacle in the world.

That plan would cost more than double the option currently being considered: $112 billion.

However, he did find some support in Wednesday’s meeting. Sarah Jane Millard, a London native who lives in Manasquan, New Jersey, asked representatives of the Army Corps why they didn’t go with the more outreach option. Their community was devastated by Sandy.

“This will solve the problems of the entire region, lakhs of people,” he said. “They’re engineers and they’re wonderful, and they know how hard it is to persuade politicians to spend money. But people whose homes can be torn down want to do it.”

Bryce Wismiller, project manager for the Army Corps, said there are two main reasons why the comprehensive option was not chosen.

“A tremendous cost and a tremendous amount of time,” he said.

Wismiller said the agency uses a cost-benefit analysis to look at how much it would cost to build a project compared to how much it could hurt. Using those calculations, the Corps tentatively selected the current option, he said.

Bruce Hoch of West Orange, New Jersey, said Sandy was one of the costliest storms in US history, adding that it could make a good case for spending more for more protection.

“Sandy did $70 billion in damage,” he said. “I could do a cost-benefit analysis (to back that up).”

The costliest option would benefit 94% of the study area in the two states; The currently chosen option will have a profit of 62%.

Wismiller said the Army Corps will make its final recommendation on the project to Congress in late 2024.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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