UNION CITY – Mayor Brian Stack presented a letter from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni this week that confirmed the transit authority’s intention to grant Union City approximately $2.9 million to assist in a project to rehabilitate New York Avenue from 19th street to 48th street.
The project, according to the letter, will “help maintain approach roadways to the Lincoln Tunnel.”
The grant was the cause of significant controversy at the end of last year, when the Union City Concerned Citizens Group alleged that the grant, designed to fill holes in the city’s 2013 budget, may not have actually existed. Some also asked how taxpayers could spend almost $3 million for fixes to local streets.
Stack went on record in February saying that the grant did, in fact, exist.
A letter from Gov. Chris Christie to the Port Authority dated last June urged the authority to grant the funds to Union City. Stack is an ally of Christie. According to the letter, the funds will be broken between two projects, one rehabilitating New York Avenue from 19th Street to 30th Street ($1.6 million) and another from 31st to 48th Street ($1.275 million).
Stack confirmed that the project will be done in the two phases, citing timing as a reason. Both projects are expected to get underway this month and will be completed by October.
The city will award two separate bids to construction companies, one for each phase of the project. – Dean DeChiaro