PARSIPPANY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A wall collapse at a controversial construction project in New Jersey is just the latest in a string of incidents at a shopping center many residents say they never even wanted.
“The great wall of Parsippany” came crumbling down Thursday during a heavy rain storm. Residents gave the sarcastic nickname to the retaining wall because of all of the issues the Waterview marketplace construction project has had.
First proposed in the 1980’s, construction finally began last year.
“Whenever you see something take so long to build, and so many changes, usually means there is a problem,” Jose Moreno of Rockaway Township said.
The township’s mayor says the developers have had a never ending list of near disasters – including a utility pole with live wires that sagged low over route 46.
“Four times there’s been issues with this project related to traffic that had to do with erosion and now a wall collapsing,” Parsippany mayor Michael Soriano said.
The mayor says one lane of Route 46 will remain closed until the wall is secure. Soriano added that means resident can expect delays, especially during busy times when school lets out and rush hour.
“I’m so thankful that no one got hurt in the incident.”
Plans for the shopping center were turned down a few years ago, but the developer countered with an offer to build low income housing as well. The council and former mayor then approved the updated shopping center plan. Residents say it should have remained green.
“(The project) should really never have happened. Plenty of spaces around town that they could have developed this. They’ve cleared out all those woods for no reason and now there’s one problem after another,” resident Mike Wilson told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
As for the wall, it was never even approved by the town.
“This retaining wall that was put up, this was their second plan. Their first plan was approved. They did not build the first plan… There will be repercussions for this,” mayor Soriano declared.
RD Management claims the project will be finished by the end of 2019.