Three stations along the West Side Avenue line of the light rail could be closed for nine months.
Three stations along the West Side Avenue line of the light rail could be closed for nine months.

West Side Avenue stations of HBLR could close for 9 months

In order to accommodate underground work by the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, NJ Transit is proposing to close down three stations along the West Side Avenue line of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail for nine months.

Emergency repair work is scheduled to begin on or about June 1, 2019 and continue to March 1, 2020.

This could affect some of the poorest residents of Jersey City as well as students of New Jersey City University who use that line. The temporary closure would affect West Side Avenue Station, Martin Luther King Drive, and Garfield Avenue stations.

NJ TRANSIT will conduct two public hearings to receive public comment on the proposed service disruption along the West Side Avenue branch of the HBLR. There will be two opportunities for public comment on Thursday, March 7 at 2 to 4 p.m.  and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at  New Jersey City University, Gilligan Student Union Building (Culver Avenue entrance) Multi-Purpose Room B, 2039 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City.

Substitute bus service will be provided for express travel from each of the three stations (West Side Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive and Garfield Avenue) directly to the Liberty State Park station, where customers can connect to regular HBLR service.

Shuttle buses will also provide local service between each of the three stations. The West Side Avenue Park and Ride will remain open during the station closure. When the project begins, NJ TRANSIT customer service representatives will be on location to help direct customers.

JCMUA is repairing an old, deteriorating sewer pipe that runs directly underneath the light rail tracks. It will take NJ TRANSIT at least two months to decommission the section of the West Side Avenue light rail line, removing wire, shutting off electricity and removing track before JCMUA will have access to the work site.

Union City holds Dominican Independence Day celebration

At Jose Marti Freshman Academy, 1800 Summit Ave., a city-sponsored Dominican Independence Day celebration will take place on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. In addition to dinner, there will be live music and entertainment, and admission is free for everyone.

Transportation will be provided to the school from 4545 Palisade Ave., 3911 Kennedy Blvd., 39th Street and Bergen Turnpike, 3700 Palisade Ave., Bella Vista Apartments, 1509 Bergenline Ave., 500 Central Ave., 1104 Palisade Ave., 1015 Central Ave., 380 Mountain Rd.. and 49th Street and Hudson Avenue.

Union City holds Gerardo “El Cuervo” Mercedes book release

Gerardo “El Cuervo” Mercedes, a Union City local, will host a book release at the William V. Musto Cultural Center on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. The book is titled “Teatro: Celebracion de La Vida y La Memoria,” and is a memoir of Mercedes’ acting career in both film and theater.

Transportation will be provided to the cultural center from 4545 Palisade Ave., 3911 Kennedy Blvd., 39th Street and Bergen Turnpike, 3700 Palisade Ave., Bella Vista Apartments, 1509 Bergenline Ave., 500 Central Ave., 1104 Palisade Ave., 1015 Central Ave., 380 Mountain Rd.. and 49th Street and Hudson Avenue.

The William V. Musto Cultural Center is located at 420 15th Street, and admission is free.

PSE&G will upgrade aging gas pipes in Union City

PSE&G will be working in Union City to replace nearly 9 miles of old gas pipes with new piping to make the system safer and more reliable. Beginning in mid-February, work will take place Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., and some Saturdays, weather permitting.

The gas main replacement portion of the work is expected to take place through the end of August in various locations across Union City. These upgrades are part of PSE&G’s five-year program to replace 875 miles of pipes and other gas infrastructure improvements throughout New Jersey through 2023.

Residents will be notified when work begins in their area by mail, door hangers, and social media. Customers can find more information, including a list of streets and video of how the work will be performed at www.pseg.com/gaswork.

Before construction can start, the utility tests soil and digs test holes to verify the location of existing gas pipe. When this preliminary work is complete, PSE&G will begin installing the new gas lines.

To upgrade the gas lines, PSE&G will dig trenches, primarily in road surfaces, and lay new pipes block- by-block to minimize disruptions. At the end of each workday, the trenches are filled in and protective plates secured. PSE&G reports that residents will always have access to their driveway.

After new gas lines are installed. PSE&G technicians will need access your home to replace the service line and gas meter and connected to the new gas main. If your meter is located inside it will be moved to the outside of your home.

PSE&G will contact homeowners to arrange a date and time to do the work. During this reconnection, you can expect to be without gas service for about 4 hours. If you are not able to legally provide access to the property in question (i.e. the property owner) and require landlord approval, please let PSE&G know before scheduling an appointment.

Once your gas meter is moved outside and/or your service is connected to the new main a PSE&G technician relights all appliances and makes sure they are working safely before leaving a home.

When work is finished, PSE&G will repair roads with temporary pavement until the project is complete and the ground settles. Grass areas that are disturbed will be repaired with temporary dirt. Grass areas will be repaired and seeded. Roads will be restored with permanent paving in accordance with town ordinance and paving requirements.

PSE&G representatives are available to answer questions by email at gasworks@pseg.com, or by phone at 1-833-661-6300

Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers

Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Wednesday, February 20 at 7 p.m.

CASA is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.

CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.

For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org

For updates on these and other stories keep checking www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mike Montemarano can be reached at mikem@hudsonreporter.com.