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Residents Concerned About Possible Fallout From Bayonne Bridge Project

Neighbors Worry About Noise, Possibility Of Falling Debris
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Port Authority Chairman David Samson (at the podium) rally with workers in front of the Bayonne Bridge on June 26, 2013 (credit: Tim Larsen/Governor's Office)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Port Authority Chairman David Samson (at the podium) rally with workers in front of the Bayonne Bridge on June 26, 2013 (credit: Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office)

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BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As work gets underway to lift the Bayonne Bridge so that larger ships getting through the Panama Canal can dock at local ports, those living under the bridge are worried.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported Saturday, there is a row of houses on Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne, N.J. with backyards sitting literally in the shadow of the bridge about 30 yards away.

“We do already get the paint chips that come off the bridge,” said resident Tracey Fiuza.

Fiuza said debris could fall once work starts behind her home.

“What if we get something like a Sandy, you know, and equipment comes off the bridge, into our yards?” she said.

Residents also have expressed concern about the noise once crews begin lifting and expanding the Bayonne Bridge. Fiuza is concerned also about health effects.

“I read the Coast Guard paperwork when they first applied for their permits, and asbestos was used on that bridge,” she said.

She said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey offered to pay for a hotel and parking. But some neighbors do not believe that is enough.

Fiuza said some neighbors “would like them to consider buying their home for fair market value so they can move.”

At this point, the Port Authority has told neighbors that will not be happening.

The Bayonne Bridge project is expected to bring 2,500 construction jobs and even more business to the area when it is completed, officials said in June.

The bridge deck will go from the current 151 feet to 215 feet. The old bridge deck removal is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2015.

The cost has been estimated at $1.3 billion.

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