Carteret, NJ – Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman joined with members of the Carteret Borough Council and local residents at a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for the continuation of Phase 2 of the Carteret Marina Project on Tuesday.
In April of 2016 the Borough received final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a 185 slip marina at Waterfront Park in a man-made cove along the Arthur Kill. Historically, the cove was used by IT Williams and Sons to treat Mahogany as part of the company’s operations within the Borough.
Recently completed, Phase I of the project consisted of the dredging of the cove for the dual purposes of remediating heavy-metal contaminated sediments while ensuring there is enough clearance for the draft of boats entering the Marina. The cove was dredged down to clean sand (17’ depth) to completely and permanently remediate the site. In all, Borough contractors removed 135,000+/- cubic yards of metal contaminated sediment from the remnants of Carteret’s industrial past where IT Williams once operated the largest mahogany plant in the world.
Phase II of the marina improvement will include a 700 foot wave screen breakwater and a 265 ft. floating wave attenuator to protect the marina and boats from the effects of water displacement and wave action while docked. This part of construction will be completed by December 31st before the moratorium on waterside construction is reinstated. From December 31st to June 30th activities that disturb waterway sediments are prohibited because of their effects on marine life breeding. Other improvements will include the installation of 38,000 square feet of concrete floating docks, a gas and diesel fueling station and sanitary pump out.
Mayor Reiman stated “The work done this year will complete much of the marina structure. Despite all of the obstacles thrown our way by out of control federal agencies & special interest groups, the project is moving forward. Years of planning are finally paying off at the Waterfront.” Reiman added, “During a Borough event an eighty year old resident spoke with me reminiscing of her childhood and said that throughout all her years living in the Borough she never realized there was a waterfront, making the point that projects like this do not happen overnight.”
It is anticipated to have an operating municipal marina for the 2018 boating season. Seventy five percent of the continuation phase will be completed by the end of 2017 with the balance of the project being upland improvements.
Those upland improvements include the construction of a waterfront event center adjacent to the marina which the borough will be able to use for educational offerings and to host receptions along the Arthur Kill. A portion of the event center will be dedicated to marina operations and future plans are in place for a waterfront bar and restaurant on the site.
“Waterfront Park has become one of the premier passive and active recreation destinations in Central Jersey” said Councilwoman Susan Naples. “The construction of this marina will only add to the public’s enjoyment of this important natural resource.”
Waterfront Park features an array of recreational offerings for visitors including a fishing pier, boat ramp, miniature golf course, beach volleyball and bocce ball courts, as well as, a picnic area and pedestrian walkway that includes a sensory perception garden. The park draws thousands of visitors to the Borough each year for events that include the Borough’s Independence Day celebration, an annual Latin Festival and Carteret’s Summer Concerts on the Bay series.
In December of 2016 the Borough was awarded two (2) grants totaling 13.25 million dollars from the NJDEP Office of Natural Resource Restoration to construct over 7,500 linear feet of additional pedestrian walkway along the Arthur Kill and to restore a second pier acquired from U.S. Metals as part of a settlement reached with the Borough.
The first award is a $6.67 million grant for the Arthur Kill Walkway (AKW) that will expand the Borough’s River walk 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.
“When those walkways are completed, we will have provided public access to almost two miles of the Arthur Kill channel. Together with the marina project it will make Carteret Waterfront Park the most successful public access of its kind in New Jersey.” said Reiman.