Hoboken Battling Port Authority Over Paying For Repairs To Pier A Park

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A beautiful waterfront park in Hoboken may be in danger of falling into the Hudson River — and it wouldn’t be the first time it happened.

As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, 1,000 steel pilings that support Pier A Park are decaying.

“It is not in danger of collapsing into the Hudson, but it will be if we don’t get it fixed,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said.

Zimmer and the City Council just approved a $5.3 million bond to do the work because she says the Port Authority is blocking the use of a dedicated fund paid for by three waterfront real estate developers under a 1995 agreement.

“We need to make sure that it’s repaired and continues to be safe for our community,” Zimmer said.

The Port Authority, which built Pier A and converted it into a park in the 1990s, disagrees, saying it’s not the agency’s decision to make.

“The Port Authority has actively and consistently encouraged the City of Hoboken — which is responsible for the pier — and the developers to reach an agreement on funding of the pier maintenance and repairs,” the agency said in a statement. ” … The Port Authority is only entitled to vote to break a tie between the city and the developers.”

Pier A is the perfect spot for a jog or walking your dog, and it offers a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Hoboken resident Christie Henderson. “If you ask any single person why they want to live in Hoboken, and one of the main reasons is this waterfront.”

And nobody wants a repeat of what happened in 2009, when part of Frank Sinatra Park collapsed into the river, causing a soccer field to be closed for about four years for repairs.

“That was a debacle,” said Mark Kashishian, of Hoboken. “Just terrible. I don’t know exactly why or what the circumstances were, but what a mess!”

The mayor said the city may wind up suing to get the developers’ money released. CBS2 reached out to the three developers involved, but they had no comment on the funding dispute.

Park users say they just want something done before its too late.

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