Sacco introduces bill to hold public utilities liable for cost overruns in road construction
Sen. Nicholas Sacco, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, introduced legislation on Thursday, Sept. 20 that would require public utility companies and the State Department of Transportation to work collaboratively to develop a plan to relocate utility equipment and facilities to accommodate a road construction project. The bill would hold public utilities liable if they fail to meet the construction schedule laid out for equipment relocation, causing cost-overruns in the transportation improvement project.
“Whenever a public agency engages in a transportation infrastructure project, there are significant costs associated with the relocation of utility facilities and equipment,” said Sacco, who is also the mayor of North Bergen. “The utility company should be held responsible if the project is delayed as a result of its failure to provide support in a timely manner, causing cost overruns in the construction budget.”
Sacco noted that the issue was brought to his attention as a result of the delays in the Tonnele Avenue widening project in North Bergen. One of the reasons the project has been delayed so many times, according to Sacco, is that construction has had to come to a halt several times to accommodate for the relocation of utility infrastructure.
Sacco also pointed to news reports about the delays in widening a section of Route 3 near MetLife Stadium in Rutherford – delays caused by utility infrastructure issues, according to the lead contractor, which could lead to construction still taking place when New Jersey hosts the Superbowl in 2014.
“Whether we’re talking about Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, or Route 3 near MetLife Stadium, these project delays could cost taxpayers millions of dollars in cost overruns, and create endless headaches for commuters stalled as a result of extended road construction,” said Senator Sacco.
The bill is expected to be referred to the Senate Transportation Committee for consideration.
Reporter holiday deadlines
The Hudson Reporter offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 8 for Columbus Day. Thus, deadlines for that week's Bayonne Community News (Oct. 10) and Midweek Reporter (Oct. 11) have moved up.
Display advertisements for those issues are due by 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 5. Classified ads are due by noon on Friday, Oct. 5. Editorial items are also due by noon on Friday.
If you have questions, please call the Reporter at (201) 798-7800.
NHCAC to sponsor UNICEF fundraiser
To help disaster relief efforts, the North Hudson Community Action Foundation is sponsoring a ‘Back to the ‘80s’ fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Hijos y Amigos de Fomento at 522 38th St., Union City.
“Our agency not only responds to the needs of the people who live in our service area, but we also try to pitch in and help out anyone who is in need and that is why we are holding this fundraising event,” said Christopher Irizarry, President and CEO of North Hudson Community Action Corp.
A percentage of the proceeds will go the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which supports UNICEF’s humanitarian relief work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Donations start at $20 and up, with complimentary appetizers, cash bar and raffle prizes.
For more information, please call Odalys Valdes, Director of Foundation, at (201) 210-0100, ext. 318.
UC to hold 35th anniversary concert of ‘La Charanga’
Union City will host a concert celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Latin band “La Charanga 76” on Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Union City Performing Arts Center located at 2500 Kennedy Blvd.
“La Charanga 76” was formed in Union City and made its debut at Liberty Park on July 4, 1976, hired by El Centro Cultural Cubano de Nueva York to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Simultaneously in 1976, “La Charanga 76” released its first LP which featured its run-away hit “Soy” (a ballad by Willy Chirino). Currently, “La Charanga 76” is still going strong and maintains its national and international popularity. The band performs as a special attraction in major concerts and events.
“La Charanga 76” concert is part of Union City’s Hispanic Heritage month celebrations. This will be a special concert celebrating the many accomplishments of one of Union City’s most successful musical institutions. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.
Admission is free and parking is available at 23rd Street Parking Deck located on 23rd Street between Summit and Kerrigan avenues.
For more information, visit www.UnionCityPAC.com.