Residents: Port Authority Not Doing Enough To Compensate For Bayonne Bridge Project

BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s residents versus the Port Authority as people living directly next to the Bayonne Bridge say they’re not being fairly compensated to deal with the ongoing construction project.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, the paint chips in Andy Reynolds’ backyard range from small, finely ground pieces to large chunks.

“Last week I said ‘hey you gonna clean up the paint chips?’ I haven’t seen anybody yet so, they don’t jump right on these things. They’re full of excuses,” he said.

Reynolds lives on the New Jersey side of the Bayonne Bridge. The paint chips are a concern because his young children play in their backyard.

The family already took down the pool and trampoline.

“I mean, look, you can see the crane’s right here and it gets close,” he said.

Over on the State Island side of the project, more residents are saying the same.

Gloria People’s put her house up for sale last month. She said parking issues and the noise have become unbearable.

“They’re driving me crazy. Three o’clock in the morning, all night this is going on,” she said.

There’s also visible dust on a neighbor’s house siding.

“It’s all on the house, the walls,” said People.

“I can’t really see how anything that’s this large a scale can be done with people living here,” said Beryl Thurman.

Thurman is the executive director of the North Shore Waterfront Conservancy. Her non-profit sued the Port Authority over the project back in 2013.

“They should’ve bought these people out, cause there’s no way that a person who has a home that’s directly underneath this bridge that’s gonna survive another three or four years of what they’re doing,” said Thurman.

But the Port Authority said this is their most extensive mitigation program. They’ve spend more than $600,000 on new windows for residents; offered car wash coupons; power washed homes; purchased new street sweepers for neighborhoods; frequently cleanup paint chips; offered to purchase pool covers; and provide hotel stays.

The Port Authority said crews frequently monitor the noise and the air. But residents say it’s not enough.

Though many would like to be bought out or as they say, fairly compensated, they’re not holding their breath, Gainer reported.

There is a hotline for residents to call with complaints about the Bayonne Bridge project: 855-265-5482.

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