Are Hoboken Construction Sites Safe?


Time for the network news media to come down and investigate this further. FOX 5, ABC News, do you feel this is a worthy story now?

A commenter from mentioned yet another incident of falling debris at the W Hotel site. She had a baby in the car apparently.

Falling Debris from Hoboken Construction Site

Hey folks – just a heads up (no pun intended). My sunroof just got smashed to smitherines by chunks of falling debris at a Hoboken construction site – the highrise building along the river – Frank Sinatra Drive – it has a white facade – directly facing the Hudson River.

I had my baby in the car as I was driving by the site around 11am. Luckily the sunroof was closed. Scared the living crap out of me.

I spoke to a cop and someone at the sight and they pretty much shrugged their shoulders and told me to file a report. So be careful if you’re in that vicinity. I just found out my deductible is $500, even for glass. I can’t believe it.

I just contacted the Hoboken Building Department – they’re telling me they have nothing to do with the project – it’s the Department of Community Affairs and a Port Authority project. It is the site of the W Hotel.

I called NJ Community Affairs and they’re telling me they have nothing to do with the project and I have to call Port Authority.

Wonder what I’ll be doing for the rest of my afternoon?

10/2/2007 Request:

Calling out anyone who’s car was affected by the recent “Flying Debris”, or if anyone happened to snap some pictures of the damage, etc. Please send photos to email address at the top right of the screen. Thank you!

10/1/2007 Update:

Just a few minutes ago, (had date code wrong before.. happened at 1:30pm) it was reported that yet more cement had come down off the W Hotel construction site and damaged an individuals car.

Shouldn’t there be signs? Like: “Warning- Park at your own risk. Sloppy construction going on above!”


See the previous concrete incident from last month after the jump.

9/6/2007: The Sky is Falling!!

Overheard on the live police scanner yesterday, as well as substantiated by a Hoboken411 reader, hear about this potentially fatal mishap that occurred at the W Hotel site yesterday!

“I was driving along River Street at 1:30 pm today near the W Hotel Building where they are doing major construction. Huge chunks of gravel dumped off the top of the construction site like a dumptruck driver had backed up his load off the building. Not just a little bit, but it kept coming and left a huge pile in the street. The “safety” nets were worthless as the rocks crashed through. I was driving slowly enough to stop in time, but I could have had rocks crash through my windshield within seconds had I not noticed – or someone could have been killed walking in that area. What is being done to ensure our safety with all the development in this town???! Where do you report this sort of hazard?

I just want to know what can be done about keeping construction sites safe for pedestrians and cars, being that there’s development on every other block in Hoboken.


Someone could have been killed…

What I vaguely recall overhearing on the scanner was that some kind of cement pumping pipe burst or exploded, sending debris down that caused three cars to get damaged. The extent of the damage was not clear, nor was the exact location (this could well be a different incident, but I found it too coincidental with the timing of the readers email to me).

In addition, I heard one officer indicate it was “the second time it happened this year“.

Regardless, are city officials paying close enough attention to the work ethic at these sites? Does the fact that this property is owned by the Port Authority limit who manages the safety of the conditions? What about the rest of the city, and all the new construction?


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29 Comments on "Are Hoboken Construction Sites Safe?"

8 years 4 months ago

Construction accidents can happen anywhere there is construction. It’s inherently risky.

The questions should be: Are there good standards for safety and inspection? And, are they being met?

You do see a lot of stop-work orders around town on different sites, so Arezzo is watching pretty closely. The violations are probably legit — I’m less confident that an equal standard is applied to each site.

The phrase “conflict of interest” comes up quite a lot. How much do you think it would take to get him to look the other way?

8 years 4 months ago

He may not have jurisdiction since it’s PA property.

8 years 4 months ago

Yesterday morning I parked my car on Sinatra Drive…as I got out of my car and started walking towards the sidewalk I heard this loud noise…when I turned around I saw an 18 inch iron plier laying on the ground in two pieces — no more than 12 inches away from my foot. It had fallen off the building and just missed me. It most definitely would have killed me if I had taken a second longer to get out of my car. I called the Hoboken Building Department…they said the state is handling this site. I called the Hoboken… Read more »

8 years 4 months ago

Just as long as Al Arezzo gets a cut rate apartment at the W, this place will be deemed safe. Because that’s all that really and truly matters, right?

Red Haven
8 years 4 months ago

11thRES — Try calling the NJ Department of Community Affairs office of local code enforcement at 609-324-1295. Tell them you would like to report an unsafe work environment that is threatening the safety of pedestrians, and ask them who from the state is overseeing the project. If they won’t help you, ask them who you should be talking to at the DCA. If they still don’t help, call the DCA Director at 609-292-6420. Too many incidents on a jobsite should lead to a shutdown of the site. Rumor has it the W is behind schedule, and accidents happen when construction… Read more »