CARTERET – The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders has hired a firm to begin remediation and redevelopment of the County’s Joseph Medwick Park in Carteret.
“We’ve completed all the environmental studies and engineering and planning work, and now we are ready to begin the next phase, the actual cleanup and construction,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair of the county’s Public Health and Education Committee. “Once completed, the 83-acre park will be restored to its natural beauty and it will boast recreational facilities, including baseball and softball fields, a playground, new tennis courts and open areas for residents to enjoy.”
The cleanup is necessary because in 2006 sections of the park were found to have concentrations of heavy metals in the soil. The contamination was found at the construction staging area of a US Army Corps of Engineers salt marsh restoration project.
In addition, the Army Corps found industrial debris buried at the site of a planned observation deck for park users. The soil around the debris was found to be contaminated with pesticides.
The work was originally slated to take 10 years to complete. The Freeholder Board accelerated the project, and it is now the entire project is expected to take three years from start to finish.
“I am pleased that the project is under way so that we can once again provide better and needed recreational facilities in the northern part of the county,” said Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, chair of the county’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
“Medwick Park is a valuable public asset that plays an important part in the lives of area residents, athletes, and visitors,” said Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman. “The Middlesex County Freeholders have refocused on Medwick Park’s assets, and we can look forward to a significant number of upgrades to its athletic facilities and recreational amenities that will coincide with the cleanup process. We are very pleased that our Freeholder Board has chosen to invest in these enhancements, which will bring it in stride with many of our other state-of-the-art parks improvements, and reintroduce it as a public treasure for generations to enjoy.”
At its public meeting on Dec. 2, the Freeholder Board hired Applied Landscape Technology of Montville to perform the remediation and reconstruction. The cost is $8,289,026. It was originally estimated to cost more than $10 million to complete.
“The bidding for this project was extremely competitive, and our taxpayers are the winners,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano, chair of the Administration and Finance Committee.
Work is expected to begin early winter.
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