Bayonne was the only town in Hudson County to give its blessing to the 5,400-foot pipeline, which will run out of Staten Island through Bayonne and Jersey City into Manhattan.
Bayonne won concessions from Spectra, which promised to move the pipeline route out of residential areas, placing the west-to-east route under the Kill Van Kull instead at the southernmost tip of Bayonne near Staten Island.
But last week, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it intended to begin a new round of blasting along a section of waterway in which Spectra would be laying the gas line, raising concern among area residents about possible danger since Spectra is in the process of laying the pipeline near the foot of the Bayonne Bridge.
Dredging and blasting are expected to be conducted near the Bayonne shore of the Kill Van Kull during June.
Marylee Hanley of Spectra and Vince Elias from the Army Corps’ Office of Public Affairs said the project will be coordinated to avoid possible conflicts.
“We are continuing to coordinate with Army Corps officials in evaluating information and location of their planned dredging activities,” Hanley said. “As that work is currently planned, we have determined that there should be no impact to our pipeline which is located in bedrock approximately 120 feet below the current seabed elevation. Additionally, the timing of the Army Corps activities is such that there will be no natural gas in the pipeline at the time of their dredging activities in the Kill Van Kull.”
Elias of the Army Corps is in communication with Spectra regarding the gas-line project and the blasting that will likely take place in June.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are improving the main shipping channels in the port by deepening them to 50 feet, allowing more efficient access to the world’s largest oceangoing ships.
The proposed drilling and blasting in the Kill Van Kull will allow ships to more easily navigate through the narrow waterway going to and coming from the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island and the Port Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Newark. This is one more part of a multi-billion-dollar effort to make the channel more navigable for ships that use ports in New Jersey and New York.
Residents of Bayonne, particularly those south of Third Street between Humphrey and Ingham Avenues, and those near Richmond Terrace between Port Richmond and Heberton Avenues, Staten Island, New York, were encouraged to attend the April 28 meeting in Bayonne to learn more details of this project.
Blasting in the Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay is nothing new, local officials said. It’s part of a process of deepening shipping lanes, which requires breaking up bedrock similar in nature to the rocks that make up the Palisades cliffs. Deepening of the channel has been an ongoing process since the early 1990s, explaining perhaps why so few people showed up to hear the details of the Army Corps’ latest endeavor.
“As that work is currently planned, we have determined that there should be no impact to our pipeline.”—Marylee Hanley
Blasting is occurring only during daylight hours and is not being conducted before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m., though drilling may be conducted at various times. Work will not be conducted on Sundays. Although residents within a 1,500-foot radius of the blast area are supposed to call for property inspections ahead of the blasting in order to assess possible damage, some residents claim they received no notice. City officials, however, said notices have gone out to many homes in the area encouraging them to make an appointment. The contractor in charge of the blasting operations—Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company—is required to place notices on doorknobs of residences and businesses notifying them of their option for pre-inspections. The company can be reached at (201) 339-6470 to schedule an appointment.
Inspections will detail the conditions of a property prior to the blasting so that if there are changes later, they can be dealt with. The phone number of the New York office of the Army Corps is (212) 264-0223, and the Great Lakes Regional office customer outreach number is (313) 226-3387.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.