The first Woodbridge demolitions in the post-Sandy Blue Acres residential property buyout program occurred the week of March 18, marking another major milestone in the state’s continuing efforts to move homeowners out of harm’s way.
Sayreville, South River, East Brunswick and Woodbridge were the first municipalities approved by the DEP’s Blue Acres program to purchase Sandy-damaged dwellings in flood-prone areas from willing sellers at pre-storm values, with the properties to be returned to open space.
So far, 133 property owners have accepted DEP buyout offers in Woodbridge. The DEP has closed on 88 of those homes, including those being demolished this week (week of March 18).
There have been an additional 147 demolitions in Sayreville and South River, two of the Middlesex County municipalities that sustained significant flooding when Sandy’s storm surge pushed from Raritan Bay and into the South River. The DEP has closed on 187 homes in those two towns.
Blue Acres also expects to begin making offers in Old Bridge and Linden in early spring and for closings to take place in Manville, Newark and Pompton Lakes within the coming months. In addition, the DEP is working with officials and residents in other municipalities that are being considered for future rounds of buyouts.
The program has been a key part of the Christie Administration’s efforts to make New Jersey more resilient in the face of future storms and flooding. In addition to buyouts, the state’s comprehensive plan also includes working with the Army Corps of Engineers on a $1 billion comprehensive coastal protection system that includes enhanced beaches and dunes to better protect coastal communities, new elevation standards in flood zones, programs to assist homeowners with the cost of elevations, and $1.2 billion in potential financing for the hardening of water and wastewater infrastructure.
For more information, contact Bob Considine or Lawrence Hajna at (609) 984-1795. (Photo credit: Levon Putney/WCBS 880)