Government

Union County Details Rahway River Park Track and Field Project at Public Meeting

12875f79258223092150_map.jpg
The proposed track and field will be installed primarily within the existing track and field footprint. The new 8-lane track is slightly larger than the current track, so development will stretch slightly to the west.  The eastern edge will be maintained to avoid encroachment on an existing baseball/softball field.   Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
1a6c1d4301efde1194d1_panel.jpg
From left, Union County Public Safetey Director Andrew Moran, Neglia Engineering representative David Atkinson and Union County Counsel Robert Barry.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
02ef66940a49e1d2014a_engineer2.jpg
David Atkinson, an engineer with Neglia Engineering, was the lead presenter. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
bf2e9b1e62c14824f547_faella.jpg
Union County Manager Al Faella Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
8f573afa600fbd89eaa5_moran.jpg
Union County Public Safety Director Andrew Moran   Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
57c6859b8da3fd1eb57d_barry_2.jpg
Atkinson and Barry answered questions submitted by the audience. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
93fd52320ceb2fa87d7b_buildings.jpg
A slide showing the proposed structures in the plan.  The walled building will house a concession area, an equipment storage area and ADA-compliant restrooms.  There will not be showers or changing rooms.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
c61bc60bace581b7774e_crowd.jpg
Approximately 100 people attended the presentation at the Hamilton Stage in Rahway on Wednesday night. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
12875f79258223092150_map.jpg

RAHWAY, NJ - Union County presented its plans for improvements at Rahway River Park to a crowd of approximately 100 local residents at the Hamilton Stage on Wednesday night.  The presentation focused on the scope and design of a proposed synthetic turf track and field.  The proposed improvements, a joint venture between the county and the City of Rahway, have come under fire by concerned citizens who have rallied to stop the development.  

David Atkinson of Neglia Engineering began the presentation with an overview of environmental constraints that were considered during the project design phase.  These included flood hazards, wetland restrictions and endangered wildlife assessments. Based on currently-approved FEMA and recent New Jersey GeoWeb maps, the project does not encroach on permit-required areas, Atkinson said.

He then discussed site constraints that included a consideration of the field location, orientation, targeted use, impact on existing trees, impact on existing facilities and storm water run-off concerns.

Sign Up for E-News

“The current track has reached its useful life,” Atkinson said.  He said that in order to limit the impact to surrounding trees and structures, the “ideal situation is to locate the proposed track within the confines of the existing track.”

He said that the slightly larger track will encroach to the west in the direction of existing development and that the eastern edge of the current track will be maintained.  An existing tree line along a paved path will remain intact and the development will not impact a nearby baseball/softball field.  

Storm water run-off will be controlled through an underground series of perforated PVC pipe and storm drains.

The track will increase from its current six lanes to eight lanes, in keeping with current high school competition standards.  The synthetic turf field in the center of the track will be lined for football, lacrosse and soccer.  Shot put, discus, javelin, triple jump, high jump, long jump and pole vault areas are included in the design.

Ten-row high, ground-mounted, handicapped-accessible bleachers will accommodate 800 people on the home side of the field and 400 people on the away side of the field.  A “coaches’ box” will be installed atop the bleachers on the home side of the field.  A 10.5-feet high by 18-feet wide scoreboard will be mounted approximately 10 feet off the ground.   Atkinson said that higher structures were placed along existing tree lines so they would blend in.

The field will be surrounded by a 4-feet high, black vinyl-coated fence. 

“The fence is not to keep the public out,” Atkinson said. “The purpose is to keep unwanted motorized vehicles from damaging the track and the turf.”  He said the complex would be accessible to the public during the park’s normal operating hours. 

Four 70-feet high light stanchions will be placed at approximately the 15-yard line on either side of the field.  Atkinson said the lights will be fitted with shields to direct the light flow downward onto the field and limit light disbursement beyond the complex.   He said that the nearest residential building, on St. Germaine Drive in Clark, is 660 feet from the far edge of the track, but that light from the field complex will not extend past 200 feet.

A 56-feet by 25-feet building will house a concession area, equipment storage and ADA-compliant restrooms.  Two open-air pavilions will be erected in a nearby existing picnic area.

Atkinson’s presentation met with weak applause and several loud boos as he left the podium.

According to the plan, no new parking spaces will be built in the park.  The park currently has 207 lined parking spaces and 23 roadside spaces.  County Public Safety Director Andrew Moran said that satellite parking lots in Rahway will be utilized if necessary during specific events.  

Union County Counsel Robert Barry briefly discussed “potential next steps in the process.”  These include a review by the county freeholder’s park committee, negotiations with the City of Rahway and Rahway Board of Education, review by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the preparation of bid specifications.  No timeline was given.

Members of the audience were invited to submit written questions after the presentation.   Only questions that were deemed directly relevant to the presentation were read by County Manager Al Faella and responded to by the panel.  No open dialogue was permitted, and on several occasions Faella cut-off people who tried to pose a verbal question.  Angry shout-outs from the crowd were a clear indication, at the conclusion of the meeting, that not every question had been read or answered.

Questions primarily sought clarification about lighting, drainage, parking and noise issues. Faella indicated that the standard protocol for lights-out in county parks is 10 p.m. Garbage cans and trash receptacles will be placed throughout the complex but, Atkinson said, "we can't guarantee that people will use them." 

“They keep talking about improving the park,” 45-year Clark resident Rayna Warner said during a break in the meeting. “That’s the biggest joke of all.  They’re not improving the park.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_fe257547a6685e9619f7_mini_magick20180330-124868-lbfbjm

Wed, April 25, 1:00 PM

Clark Public Library, Clark

Wednesday Afternoon Movies

Arts & Entertainment Government

Carousel_image_b3156fd94705aad06530_mini_magick20180420-84316-1ipglam

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (sponsored by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_a0e77c78491bef881633_mini_magick20180304-33586-10cjicz

Thu, April 26, 11:00 AM

Clark

Chess Club

Arts & Entertainment

How to Report Potholes in Union County

April 21, 2018

With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like you to know there are resources you can use to report them to the proper agency.

"We certainly encourage drivers and commuters to report any pothole they encounter on roads throughout Union County to the responsible authority," said ...

Cranford Man Dies after Wrong-Way Crash on Route 9

April 10, 2018

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – A Cranford man died after his car collided with another vehicle on Route 9 on Sunday.

Thomas McHugh, 88, was driving north in the southbound fast lane on Route 9, where he crashed head-on into another vehicle. On impact, one of the cars caught fire, according to Sgt. Jim Chessere of the Woodbridge Police Department.

 McHugh was taken from the scene to Robert ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. At the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Obituaries

- Apr 11, 2018
Clark—Carleen Nevargic, 81, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at her home ...
Read more