CARTERET — The borough has been awarded $24,000 to construct an extension to Waterfront Park’s “River Walk,” Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Jorge Diaz announced today. The funding will be provided through the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Recreational Trails Program.
In 2010, the Borough of Carteret acquired 5 acres of property along the Arthur Kill, adjacent to the existing 17-acre Waterfront Park, through a settlement with E.I. DuPont. The settlement agreement was with “DuPont” will allow Carteret to continue with its plans to redevelop waterfront “Brownfields” properties north of Waterfront Park.
The Borough filed suit against E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, the American chemical company, in 2008, claiming that it had allowed approximately 35 acres of waterfront property to lie dormant for decades, hosting debris and contaminants left by the Agrico Chemical Co., who DuPont acquired in the 1920’s. The settlement has held DuPont accountable for any cleanup deemed necessary by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (N.J.D.E.P.), and to implement a remedial action work plan to address debris and any hazardous substances on the DuPont parcel under oversight of the D.E.P. or a licensed site professional. Reiman has indicated that this will translate into the remediation and future redevelopment of 35 acres of property.
The borough has since secured an additional easement by neighboring industrial property owners. The parcel has been designated as the site of Carteret’s future ferry terminal, which will eventually provide commuter service to and from Manhattan.
As part of the project, the borough has completed plans to develop a portion of the ferry terminal property and the 30 foot wide easement along the “Green Belt,” or upland of the Arthur Kill, for use as a continuation of the River Walk that spans the length of Waterfront Park.
The northern extension of the path will be 2,230’ in length, and provide additional recreational space for pedestrians and cyclists, along with new “fitness stops,” or exercise amenities similar to those along the existing River Walk, and bicycle stands for commuters.
The borough plans to continue with the development of the River Walk with other future projects, and ultimately to have it connect to other local pedestrian pathways in the establishment of a riverside pedestrian network. Total cost for the project has been estimated at $350,000, and will include site clearing and preparation, new topsoil, and the construction of the 15’-wide stamped & colored asphalt path with a stone base.
“The River Walk represents our efforts to maximize our waterfront’s potential,” Reiman said. “It will indefinitely prove an invaluable recreational resource to residents and visitors, and will ultimately be an integral part of our ongoing waterfront redevelopment.”
“Tying in with our future ferry terminal project, our River Walk will further our efforts to establish a multi-faceted waterfront,” Diaz added, “which goes beyond recreation as a public resource for our residents.”