Turnpike grants man access to graveyard

Grandfather's body will be disinterred

Monday, November 18, 2002

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has reached an agreement with a former Hudson man who has asked to be present when officials disinter bodies from a Secaucus graveyard to make room for a highway extension.

Patrick Andriani of Succasunna, whose immigrant grandfather was buried in the graveyard 54 years ago, has said he wants to be there when the remains are unearthed.

According to published reports, before the graves are moved to another site, the Turnpike is going to give Andriani access to the section of the graveyard where he believes his grandfather is buried.

The Turnpike had originally objected to Andriani's presence because of liability concerns.

Leonardo Andriani's remains are believed to be in Plot 6408. If the remains cannot be identified, his family said they would support the Turnpike's plan to re-inter all remains in a mass grave.

The cemetery was used by Hudson County's former poorhouse, mental hospital and penitentiary, and officials believe more than 3,500 bodies may be buried there.

Details about the site are sketchy, but records suggest the bodies were buried between the 1860s and 1950.

Remains from an unknown number of people were relocated when the Turnpike was built in the 1950s.

The Turnpike Authority plans to spend nearly $4 million to remove the bodies and rebury them at another location. It has hired an archaeologist, osteologist and mortician to help unearth the remains.

-Associated Press

Copyright 2002 The Jersey Journal.

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