CARTERET – Middlesex County and Carteret officials put the first shovels in the ground today for a project to reconstruct the County’s 83-acre Joseph Medwick Park in Carteret.
The redevelopment of the park involved remediation of the site, which began last year. Once the cleanup and reconstruction is complete, the park will be restored to its natural beauty and it will boast recreational facilities, including a synthetic football/soccer field, a synthetic Little League field, two playgrounds, tennis courts and several multi-purpose play areas.
“It’s time to begin the real work of transforming this land into a premier recreational destination for our residents,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, who was chair of the county’s Public Health and Education Committee when the planning for this project began.
The cleanup is necessary because sections of the park were found to have concentrations of heavy metals in the soil 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.”
Najarian Associates prepared the plans and specifications. Applied Landscape Technology of Montville was contracted to perform the remediation and reconstruction. The cost is $8,289,026. It was originally estimated to cost more than $10 million to complete. Completion is expected in spring 2012.
“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.
Middlesex County Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina (fourth from left), chair of the County’s Park and Recreation Committee, Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano help to break ground on the reconstruction of the county’s Medwick Park in Carteret.
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