By Felix Alarcon The Jersey Journal
Only a small area of memorial pavers that encircle the 9/11 Teardrop Memorial at the south end of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor will be temporarily removed when repair work at the site begins, according to a Port Authority spokesman.
“The start of the construction is contingent on the City of Bayonne’s approval,” said the spokesman, Steve Coleman. “A very small area of pavers will be removed for the duration of the construction period.”
Coleman estimates the pavers will be out of the 9/11 memorial ground for roughly three to five months.
“These pavers will be restored to their original locations when the work is finished,” said Coleman.
Frank Perrucci, the chairman of the 9/11 Bayonne Committee, wants an explanation from city officials about what’s happening at the site.
“I want to know what’s going on,” said Perrucci. “A supervisor down at the cruise (port) told me they knew about it since April.”
Coleman said the company working in the area was Trevcon, a Liberty Corner-based construction company specializing in marine construction.
The construction that encroached onto the 9/11 Teardrop Memorial Park had a portion of the parking lot separated by a wire fence and poles in place cordoning off an area of the memorial park and the pavers.
According to Coleman, Trevcon was working on a stabilizing project at the port.
Trevcon official Ray Lijo did not return The Jersey Journal’s numerous inquiries.
Perrucci seethed at the possibility of the pavers being removed. “They’re going to have to take my body out of there,” said a defiant Perrucci. “They’re not going to touch that.”
Perrucci said he’s requested permission to speak at the next city council meeting on Feb. 12.
“I don’t think the council people will give them the okay to take the pavers,” said Perrucci. “Don’t they understand the whole area is a memorial?”
Coleman said that contrary to what most residents thought, the construction near the memorial is unrelated to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port’s $50 million expansion project slated to begin soon for the arrival of the Quantum cruise ship in November.
“This is an immediate repair project that needed to occur regardless of the expansion,” said Coleman. “The two improvements are mutually exclusive.”
Perrucci said there are over roughly 1,400 pavers in the ground.