Benjamin Carroll

‘Hobroken': 17th Water Main Break Since Late June Plagues New Jersey City, Floods PATH Station

The city of Hoboken plans to sue Suez water company for mismanagement, but Suez says the city's aging infrastructure is to blame for the water main breaks

What to Know

  • Yet another water main broke is causing trouble for Hoboken Wednesday morning, this time flooding the PATH station at River Street
  • Long plagued with water main problems, Hoboken has now had 17 water main breaks since late June, including three in the last 24 hours
  • Hoboken says it will fire Suez water company, blaming it for mismanagement; Suez says it's the city's aging pipes that need to be replaced

For the third time in less than 24 hours and 17th time since late June, a water main break is plaguing Hoboken, this time flooding the PATH station of Hoboken Terminal, less than 12 hours after a break right around the corner sent riders into a frenzy. 

The break, which happened around 1:45 Wednesday morning at the River Street entrance, is the fifth in the New Jersey city since Sunday and adds insult to injury for already-angry commuters.

The city was already telling them to access the PATH station from the River Street entrance since the Hudson Street entrance was closed because of a water main break that happened Tuesday

Train service for the Wednesday morning commute has not yet been impacted,but now crews are flushing water out of the River Street entrance as they continue to fix the previous break.

Meanwhile, the ongoing issues have residents fuming, some even renaming the city "Hobroken." 

Long plagued with water main problems, Hoboken has now had 17 water main breaks since late June. The city announced Tuesday it will fire the Suez water company, blaming it for mismanagement, and for beginning a separate project that may have caused the recent spike in main breaks.

"The reason we're going to court [Wednesday] is to compel Suez to give us the data they've been withholding so we can identify the cause of these water main breaks," said Mayor Ravinder Bhalla. 

Suez fired back, saying it's the city's old pipes that's to blame: an average of 111 breaks have happened since 2001, the inevitable result when the city neglects to fix the aging infrastructure, it says. 

"It's past time to replace it," said a Suez official. "It's past time to start fixing it. The situation has reached a boiling point." 

Bhalla said the city's started to upgrade the pipes, starting on Washington Street; $7 million of the project is devoted to water mains. Another $10.2 million has been allocated for other critical water main projects around the city, and they've set aside $5 million per year until the water infrastructure is in good standing. 

"Suez's record speaks for itself, and we can no longer work on an agreement that does not put Hoboken first," the mayor said. 

On Tuesday, there were two breaks, one about a block away from the PATH station, where water was seen bubbling up through the sidewalk and gushing through the road at Hudson Street and Hudson Place.

The Hudson Street entrance at the PATH station was closed, forcing crowds of riders to detour around the flood zone. 

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