Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman was joined by the Borough Council and Carteret Port Authority to announce that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) has issued the final permits required for the Borough to begin construction of a Municipal Marina at the Carteret Waterfront Park.
The permits represent the culmination of a decade of planning and development which will allow the construction of 190 slips for recreational boat users and the environmental remediation of the long-abandoned IT Williams treatment pond, adjacent to the Arthur Kill Channel.
“I am proud to announce that this summer we will begin remediation and construction on our Municipal Marina which will be largely funded by the $19 million in grant funding already awarded by state agencies and Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for this specific project,” said Mayor Reiman. “Because of our commitment to clean up our natural resources and our willingness to fight for our vision, this longstanding goal will soon be a reality.”
Carteret Waterfront Park has been the focus of significant investment at the local, county and state levels in recent years, with features that include a fishing pier, miniature golf course, exercise trail, recreational and fitness amenities, and a sensory-perception garden. The site, which until 2003 had been a dilapidated, abandoned Brownfield, now hosts tens of thousands of visitors and residents each year, during its Concerts by the Bay Summer Music series and Independence Day Festival.
Phase I of the project, the creation of Veterans’ Pier, was opened in 2004. Phase II followed closely behind in 2005 which transformed the adjacent areas with an access road. Subsequent stages included the addition of mooring bollards at the existing promenade in 2010 to allow large vessels to temporarily moor, as well as a pier extension in 2012 which serves as a breakwater for the marina.
“This has been a project in the planning stages for many years,” said Freeholder Director Ronald Rios. “I remember from my years on the [Borough] Council working with the Mayor and the rest of the Council to make this a reality. Mayor Reiman has been relentless in his efforts despite the roadblocks of many agencies. I’m happy that the Freeholder Board has been supportive to the tune of $7 million.”
The Borough’s initial request to build the marina was denied by the ACOE, but it has since reversed its decision after the Borough filed an appeal and raised the issue of public access. The list of professionals that assisted Carteret with the ACOE and NJDEP permit appeal process for the marina is as follows:
- Attorneys from Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C.
- Engineers from CME Associates
- Regulatory consultant from BC Peabody
- Navigation and security consultants from Ridge Global and Retired U.S. Coastguard Rear Admiral Joel Whitehead from Joel Whitehead & Associates, Inc.
- Marina designers from Applied Technology and Management, Inc.
- Environmental consultant from EXCEL Environmental Resources, Inc., and
- Computer simulation experts from DHI Water & Environment, Inc.
In large part due to the Borough’s aggressive approach to grant-seeking, the project will be funded through a combination of federal, state, and county funds that have been awarded over a period of several years. Brownfield Development Area (BDA) funding will assist with the remediation and dredging that will make way for the marina, which constitutes Phase III of Waterfront Park’s development. The municipal marina will provide opportunities for Carteret as well as Central New Jersey residents for access to the water which will provide tremendous recreational outlets.
The project has also led to the establishment of the town’s local Port Authority, and the site is now home to a marine barracks and dock for the N.J. State Police.
The NJDEP issued its approval in December and the Borough has issued a public bid for the various phases of the marina development. Phase 1 of the project consists of remediation of the IT Williams Cove, including the dredging and disposal of 130,000 cubic yards of dredge material. The Brownfield site is part of the NJ BDA property funded by the HDSRF and has received $11 million in remediation funding from the state.