HOBOKEN -- Seeking to save $39,000 on doing an underwater survey, county engineers appear to have ignored warnings that an additional area of Sinatra Drive in Hoboken may be at risk of collapse.
The county learned yesterday that a report by a firm hired to evaluate the damage that caused the substructure of Sinatra Drive to collapse last year had warned officials that additional areas – possibly three times the size of the already damaged area – were likely also at risk and that the county should examine them.
But county engineers, looking to get federal money to cover the cost of the examination, ignored the warning, freeholders were told at the Sept. 12 caucus meeting, leaving a large area that includes the whole block between 14th and 15th streets along Sinatra Drive at risk of collapse.
Engineers told the freeholders that the report from 2011 said damage to a wooden deck on which the roadway is partially built very likely extended up the block and could include the pier housing a well-used ferry terminal as well as portions of private property.
Freeholders are expected to pass a resolution at Thursday night’s meeting immediately hiring divers for a study of the area – a study that could take three months to complete.
“This put the public at risk,” said Freeholder Bill O’Dea. “Had this section collapsed it could also have cost the county as much as $10 million to repair.”