Ravi Bhalla Unveils Infrastructure Improvement Plan
Councilman Ravi Bhalla, candidate for Mayor of Hoboken, today unveiled his Infrastructure Improvement Plan, together with his at large Council slate of Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour and John Allen. Bringing the City’s aging infrastructure into the 21st century is the single most important challenge facing Hoboken in the years to come, according to Bhalla.
Ravi Bhalla said, “As Mayor, I will act to upgrade our aging infrastructure, fixing our water mains, roads, sewers and piers as well as providing regular maintenance.”
Among the other components of Bhalla’s Infrastructure Improvement Plan are completing Rebuild by Design, the comprehensive federally-funded flood prevention project, strengthening the electrical grid and pushing NJ Transit and the Port Authority for expanded bus and rail service as well as more affordable Ferry service.
Bhalla stated that he will develop a detailed 10 year infrastructure improvement and maintenance blueprint in the first 90 days of his term in order to ensure the most important improvements are prioritized and that the goals are accomplished cost-effectively.
The plan is provided below:
Team Bhalla Infrastructure Improvement Plan
As Mayor, I will act to upgrade our infrastructure, fixing our water mains, roads, sewers and piers and providing regular maintenance. I will ensure that we are better prepared for the intense storms that are predicted as a result of climate change, completing our comprehensive federally-funded flood prevention project, Rebuild by Design, and working to strengthen our electrical grid. Additionally, I will push NJ Transit and the Port Authority for expanded bus and rail service as well as more affordable ferry service. Our residents deserve to have reliable, reasonably priced transportation options that can also help to reduce traffic and improve our quality of life. In order to accomplish these goals cost effectively, I will develop a 10-year infrastructure improvement and maintenance plan in the first 90 days of my term.
Develop 10 Year Infrastructure Improvement Plan: To ensure we prioritize the most important improvements and that we accomplish this big task cost effectively, I will develop a detailed 10 year infrastructure improvement and maintenance plan. This plan will be completed in the first 90 days of my term.
Fix our Roads: The City requires more regular road and street repaving and maintenance. This will be a high priority. I will also seek the adoption of an ordinance requiring PSE&G and any other utilities to repair streets and roads to high objective standards after they rip them up so they can do their own required maintenance. Inadequate road repairs by utility companies are a major contributor to our problems in this area.
Repair Water Mains: Because our water mains are largely beyond their shelf life, they break all too frequently. In addition, because we are saddled with an unfair contract from Suez Water that still has 7 years to run, the City is required to pick up too much of the cost of repairs. As Mayor, I will move quickly to ensure that a fair, renegotiated contract is put in place and will work to upgrade our water mains.
Complete Rebuild by Design: This project will provide state-of-the art flood protections, designed to be integrated into our urban landscape, all while preserving waterfront views and access to the waterfront. It is funded by a $230 million federal grant. I have helped shape the project, assisting in winning the federal and state permits required for it, and ensuring that community input was factored in. I believe my knowledge and experience are essential to ensuring its completion.
Upgrade Sewer System: Upgrading portions of the century old sewer system in strategic areas is critical to providing additional capacity for rainwater, alleviating street flooding. I will work with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to complete the sewer upgrades identified as priorities in the Rebuild by Design process.
Strengthen Electrical Grid: Limiting power outages is essential to reducing injuries and deaths during intense storms. Together with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Department of Energy, I will continue to promote the municipal microgrid project, providing an alternative source of power for police, fire and other emergency services if the main power-grid fails. And I will work with PSE&G to upgrade the existing transmission lines.
Upgrade& Expand NJ Transit 126 Lines: We must ensure that mass transit infrastructure can accommodate much of the growth we are seeing in the western neighborhoods of Hoboken. I will push New Jersey Transit to add additional north/south 126 bus routes west of Clinton Street, and to dedicate additional buses on the current 126 routes exclusively for uptown Hoboken. In addition, I will urge New Jersey Transit to modernize their bus stops in Hoboken with digitally signalized arrival times, similar to what is standard in other parts of the country and world.
Advocate for New Train Station in the North End: In the years to come, the North End is likely to develop into a thriving new neighborhood focused on commercial development, retail and restaurants, creating a correlating need for public transit options for residents and commuters. I am leading the fight for a new train station in this location, building on existing NJ Transit plans. Increase PATH Service: I believe it is critical that the Port Authority prioritize Hoboken by dedicating additional PATH service to our PATH station during rush hour. I will fight tooth and nail for this investment for Hoboken, whether those investments are from developers or mass transit agencies.
Make the Ferry More Affordable: New York City has worked in certain areas to lower the cost of a ferry ride to $2.75, the same price as a subway ride. As Mayor, one of my priorities will be to work with state and federal officials, New York Waterways and the private sector, to identify opportunities to subsidize the cost of a ferry ride from Hoboken to New York City to make it a more affordable transit option.