Carteret Awarded $13.25 Million in NJDEP ONRR Grant Funding for Waterfront Public Access Projects

Carteret, NJ – Mayor Daniel J. Reiman joined with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in announcing that Carteret has received two grant awards totaling $13.25 million for public access projects along the ever expanding Carteret Waterfront.

“We have taken once dormant brownfield sites and transformed them into the centerpiece of the Borough’s award winning parks system” said Reiman. “These funds will afford area residents greater opportunities to pursue recreational activities like jogging on a boardwalk, sunbathing on an urban beach or sightseeing from an observation deck located along 1.5 miles of soon to be accessible shoreline.”

The first award is a $6.67 million grant for the Arthur Kill Walkway (AKW) that will expand the Borough’s Riverwalk south from Carteret Waterfront Park to Tufts Point and north to Noe’s Creek.  The southern extension will add 5,300 linear feet of walkway passing a dilapidated World War II pier, which is slated to be rehabilitated.  An elevated extension will begin at Waterfront Park and pass through a conservation easement acquired from U.S. Metal Refining (USMR).  From the pier the boardwalk will transition to a paved walkway ending at Carteret’s southern border with Woodbridge.  The northern extension will run 2,230 feet long to the Noe’s Creek tributary.

Both extensions are providing public access to once inaccessible areas.  The Reiman administration previously filed actions against the sites’ landowners for natural resource damages;  In 2010, the Borough filed suit against E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company (Dupont) in order to compel the chemical company to remediate its site.  It had been dormant and under-utilized for the last 60 years.  As part of the settlement with Dupont, the chemical company agreed to treat, crush and grade an almost 6-story pile of debris and rocks located on the 32-acre site just north of Waterfront Park.  They were also required to provide a conservation easement along the waterfront for the future walkway/boardwalk. As part of the settlement Dupont also donated 10 acres of waterfront property to the Borough.  US Metals Refining was a smelting company, located on the site just south of the Waterfront Park, from 1906 to 1987. As part of a NJ DEP-sanctioned remediation plan, sixty-nine percent of the site was covered by an impervious surface in addition to a liner intended to prevent infiltration.  The southeastern portion of the site, which will be used for the Riverwalk, was left un-developed and was covered with soil and vegetation.

The second grant for $6.58 million provides funding for phases two and three of the Carteret Waterfront Marina (CWM). Phase II involves the construction and installation of floating docks, 190 boat slips for boats ranging in size from 16’ to 70’, a floating wave attenuator, a breakwater, and the installation of a wave screen to the existing steel pier extension.  Boaters will have access to a fuel station and a sewage removal system.  Other site improvements will include the addition of 233 parking spots, an observation deck, lights, security camera, emergency phone boxes, benches, bike racks and education signs for purpose of increasing ecological awareness and encourage environmental stewardship.

“When completed residents will have public access to almost two miles of the Borough’s shoreline.  Prior to 2003, residents had no access to the Carteret Waterfront,” said Mayor Reiman.  “The future Manhattan Ferry project, an expanded Waterfront Park, the completion of the Marina project and our planned Riverwalk/boardwalk are going to be transformational events for the Borough and our local economy.  These projects will solidify our identity as a regional destination for public access to waterfront recreation.”

As part of the current phase of the Carteret Waterfront Marina project a cove at the waterfront was dredged to both deepen the area for larger draft boats and to remove arsenic and heavy-metal contaminated soil.  Waterfront Park was once the site of the world’s largest mahogany plant.  The cove, which will be the site of the future marina, was created by Ichobod T. Williams Co., for unloading large mahogany tree trunks.  The 130,000 cubic yards of soil were transported to an offsite facility where it was treated and sent to a capping site where the inert earth will be blended.  In addition to the dredging, piles were driven into the cove and steel sheets were added to create a bulk head for the purposes of preventing erosion and sediment control.

The Reiman administration has aggressively sought after and acquired over $60 million in Federal, State and County grant funding for the Waterfront Park Projects & 125 million in total grants.  The Borough was awarded $15 million from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) for the remediation of the cove.  In May of this year the Borough awarded a $21,900,000 dredging contract to Cashman Dredging of Quincy, Massachusetts.

The $13.1 million grant awards announced today are funded by a settlement between the State of New Jersey and Occidental Chemical Company, in 2014. Diamond Shamrock Chemical Company, a subsidiary of Occidental Chemical, was a pesticide company located in Newark that intentionally dumped chemicals into the Passaic River.  The Passaic River, along with the Arthur Kill, is a part of the Newark Bay complex and is the reason the Borough was eligible for the funding opportunity.

Timeline of Marina projects

1990 a 17 acre area formerly the Ichabod T. Williams Mahogany Plant Acquired by the Borough

2003 Mayor and Council open Veterans Memorial Fishing Pier

2003 Public Parking Lot A constructed

2004 Additional Parking constructed

2005 Public Boat Ramp Installed

2005 Public Access Road Installed

2007 Waterfront Park opens

2012 700’ Pier Extension Completed

2013 Water Main & Sewer Main Extensions

2013 NJ State Police Baracks and Docks relocated to Carteret

2016 Carteret Phase I of Marina started on July 5th and completed December 2016

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