No barriers to beauty

Rebuild by Design team hosts public workshop

Planters, seating, and signs that show the way are all possible features that could be included in a northern section of the Rebuild by Design project, which aims to protect the city from flooding.

The project, a federal effort funded through a $230 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will help protect Hoboken from storm surges like those experienced during Superstorm Sandy.

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The project will employ infrastructure elements in north and south Hoboken, such as flood walls, and soft landscaping, including berms and levees that would look like park areas. Rain gardens, bicycle parking, and murals are also being considered.

More workshops will be scheduled over the coming months to discuss the design elements, with a detailed design finalized by July.

Zone 3

The project is divided into five zones, two of which affect Weehawken and Jersey City. Each zone will be discussed during public workshops led by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the engineering firm AECOM.

Last week roughly 40 residents focused on Zone 3 in uptown Hoboken.

Zone 3 runs along Garden Street to the alleyway between 14th and 15th streets and then turns right on Washington Street before stopping at 13th Street.

In this zone, a resist structure will be built from ground level near 13th Street to over six feet tall at its end near Garden and 15th streets.

This resist barrier will be composed of several technical components including two types of deployable gates, roller gates and swing gates. An “I” resist structure will be built for parts of the barrier below six feet high and a “T” resist structure for parts of the barrier above that height.

Design features

Design features were based on several factors including pedestrian needs, technical components of the resist structure, and public input gathered through earlier workshops and an online survey.

In all areas of Zone 3 residents were asked to consider what “texture” they would like the resist structure wrapped in. Options include wood, weathered metal, stone, or aggregate.

The resist structure will run along the western side of Washington Street where the existing curb line is. Angled parking will remain intact. An additional sidewalk will be created on the eastern side of the resist structure making it safe for people to get to and from their vehicles. Design features include, signage, planters, seating adjacent to SoulCycle, bike parking, and angled areas for leaning.

The resist structure will also run along the alleyway between Washington Street and Garden Street and 14th and 15th streets. From Washington Street to Bloomfield Street the resist structure will run on the south side of the alley replacing the brick wall which currently provides privacy for the residential building. Along this section of the resist structure, designers envision trellises and vines to provide shade to people seated on benches as well as adjacent angled plantings. Between Bloomfield and Garden streets, the resist structure will run along the northern side of the alley next to the existing parking garage. Instead of plantings or seating the resist structure could have downward-facing security lighting and signs showing the way.

The resist structure will run on the eastern side of Garden Street near the parking garage.

Here designers included seating near the farmers market, signage, space for murals which could change over time, and educational panels near the Elysian School and Harborside Park. For more on the design concepts for Harborside Park see last weeks cover story “Park space re-imagined.” 

 Up next

According to the project team, several more workshops will be scheduled over the coming months to discuss the design elements with a detailed design finalized by July.

The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2020.

For updates on this and other stories keep checking and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at




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