How do you like the 14th Street Viaduct design so far?

As everyone in Hoboken knows by now – the 14th Street viaduct uptown has been undergoing a restoration and expansion for the past year or two already. Estimated date for completion is sometime around January or February 2014. But what do you think of the actual design?

14th Street Viaduct in Hoboken NJ excess expense

Is the fancy design necessary? Wasteful? Or good for property values?

14th St Viaduct bricks Hoboken NJNaturally – the most important part of a piece of infrastructure like this is functionality. Does it work? Will it last? How much will it cost? Who is paying for it? (Public money is being used one way or another – either locally, statewide or even federally).

But I noticed that this new structure – while coming along nicely, is receiving a fancy brick-work façade.

While I agree it will fit in a lot nicer with the other cookie-cutter condos in the area (and might even add a bit of “character” – and feel a bit more like a “neighborhood”), but I wonder how much extra money it added to the total cost, instead of say – a solid concrete structure.

And What about ongoing costs? Does this brick like outer shell require less or more maintenance in the future?

Lastly – do you think that a “fancier” viaduct actually augments this neighborhood, helping maintain or even increase property values?

What if it did cost a lot more to look this way. Are you OK with it? Or would you rather they just cover the fundamentals?