Background

Developed by: MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN with Deltares; 75B; and Volker Infra Design

The low-lying Meadowlands, a flood-prone area located across the Hudson River from New York City, is home to critical power, wastewater treatment, and transportation infrastructure for the region. These facilities include two airports and thousands of acres of rail yards, as well as 14  separate municipalities and 150,000 jobs. Interventions here need to address the combined effects of flooding, heat islands, pollution, social vulnerability, and vital network protection.

Almost 10 miles from the coast, parts of the Meadowlands were inundated by Hurricane Sandy. Flooding affected both warehouses and residences. Because the municipal sewer system cannot handle rainwater runoff, the area regularly floods during strong rainstorms.

Location: The Meadowlands: Little Ferry, Teterboro, Moonachie, South Hackensack, Carlstadt, NJ

Award: $150 Million

Implemented By: State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs; to be administered by the Department of Environmental Protection

Proposal

The New Meadowlands proposal comprises three flood risk reduction projects: Protect, Connect, and Grow.

Protect: A “Meadowpark,” will transform the Meadowlands into a flood-protected regional public park by connecting and expanding past marshland restoration with a system of berms and marshes

Connect: A “Meadowband” offers flood protection, connections between towns and wetlands, and access points to “Meadowpark.” It imagines new bike lanes that would connect to New York City and a Bus Rapid Transit system that would link the communities to one another and to the regional rail line.

Grow: The Grow project proposes development opportunities such as new, mixed-use housing, enhancements to public transportation, new energy sources and distribution systems, and creating a series of public spaces and recreation zones.

The New Meadowlands proposal focuses on flood risk reduction projects in Bergen County in the towns of Little Ferry and Moonachie, which experienced the most damage during Sandy but encompasses a total of five municipalities.

Progress on Implementation

The State of New Jersey is evaluating the feasibility of options for the project, including systems of berms that could improve streetscapes, active recreation in a resilient park, and transportation infrastructure, while reducing flood risks from the Hackensack River and protecting against flooding in western and southern parts of the Meadowlands. The ongoing community engagement process for the project will allow the State to work with affected communities to design alternatives.

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