Pascrell and Sherrill Highlight Infrastructure Project Plans

Pascrell and Sherrill

LITTLE FALLS – Keith Kazmark is the mayor of the town across the highway, but he has learned that water has no respect for municipal boundaries.

Kazmark pointed across Route 46 in the distance and talked about how flood waters from the Peckman River overflow through Little Falls under the highway and into Woodland Park, where he’s both the mayor and administrator.

It’s been going on for years, but as Rep. Bill Pascrell said Monday afternoon.  “You people have suffered enough.”

Pascrell and fellow House member Mikie Sherrill joined Kazmark and a host of other elected officials and residents to celebrate plans – at long last – to stop the flooding. The group assembled on Jackson Street near where a woman perished in a recent flood.

Sherrill said the recently-approved $146 million plan is a “life changing” event for residents, some of whom attended the press event. Residents do not have to be reminded about the power of flood waters.

Many know all too well about water destroying property and threatening human life. As one township official recounted, there have been times when water was almost as high as the word, “STOP,” on the sign.

None of this is new.

There was talk today about severe flooding in 2018 and 1999, but old-timers – Pascrell among them – recall a devastating flood in the Passaic River basin way back in 1984.

It was that flood that gave rise to a plan to build a tunnel under the Passaic River, thereby allowing water to flow unimpeded to Newark Bay. This was obviously an ambitious and expensive idea, which is why it never happened.

The plan highlighted today is centered on building culverts to connect the Peckman and Passaic rivers.

This won’t happen overnight. Design is expected to take up to two years.

Most of the money for the project is coming from the recently-passed federal infrastructure bill.

This is a big deal for Democrats, many of whom are frustrated that voting rights legislation and a more sweeping social spending bill have been stopped by party infighting.  So for the time being, the Dems will have to make do with fixing roads and bridges.

As he looked over the neighborhood, Terry Duffy, a Passaic County commissioner, said it must be horrible for residents to fear the worst every time the forecast calls for heavy rain.

The plan unveiled today aims to ease those fears.

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One response to “Pascrell and Sherrill Highlight Infrastructure Project Plans”

  1. Congressional Representatives Sherrill and Pascrell always do what is right
    and what is best for their constituents and the residents of New Jersey.
    They are to be commended for their years of outstanding service.

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