HOBOKEN—Assemblyman and mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos Jr. sent a press release out Friday morning calling for infrastructure improvements in Hoboken in light of the recent water main breaks. In the release, Ramos urges for infrastructure investments to be made and stresses the emergent nature of the situation. Ramos has recently announced his candidacy in the upcoming mayoral race against Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
The city spokesman said Friday morning that a third water main did not break, contrary to reports. “There was not a third water main break; a service line to one address leaked,” said Juan Melli. “The water main was not affected but in order to get to that particular line, water would need to be shut off temporarily.”
The full press release from Ramos said:
“In a span of just over 24 hours, three water mains in uptown Hoboken have broken. This has resulted in property damage and loss, flooding of streets and basements, and severe traffic disruption. News reports indicate that two of the three breaks were a result of aging infrastructure.
“The residents of Hoboken have known for years that we do not have municipal infrastructure that is capable of reliably handling the daily needs of our city” Ramos said. “This string of water main breaks is just the latest in a series of chronic infrastructure problems experienced by our city. It is abundantly clear that we need to stop using band-aids as solutions for these increasingly severe crises.”
The first water main break at 8th Street and Willow Avenue caused a 10-foot wide sinkhole to swallow a car parked on the street, and flooded several basements in the area. The second break was caused by construction at 14th Street and Willow Avenue, immediately resulting in a loss of water pressure throughout Hoboken, and creating the need for a boil water advisory that remains in effect. The third break occurred at 14th Street and Park Avenue, resulting in street flooding and traffic diversion.
“Investing in Hoboken’s infrastructure needs to happen now, and I cannot stress enough the urgency of the current situation,” continued Ramos. “I have been a strong advocate in the Assembly for funding for infrastructure investment, and it's frustrating to see that those funds that have been dedicated to our district haven't been put to use to prevent situations like the one today.”
Last year, Ramos sponsored legislation in the NJ Assembly that appropriated $4.5 million to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority for environmental infrastructure projects in the current fiscal year.