HOBOKEN, NJ - Despite municipal budget concerns, construction will continue on Hoboken's 5-acre Northwest Resiliency Park this week. New Jersey’s largest so-called "resiliency park," the massive parcel of land—which had previously been an industrial site—will have above and below ground infrastructure to withhold up to 2 million gallons of rainwater, helping mitigate local flooding in what is one of the city's most flood-prone sections.
According to the City of Hoboken, work will continue in preparation for concrete placement of the one million gallon tank foundation slab through the week. Residents should be advised that pile driving will begin for the Terrace foundation on Wednesday, July 8 and is scheduled to continue through Friday, July 10. For more information about the noise and vibration monitoring protocols in place, visit the Noise and Vibration sections on the Construction Updates page of the project website www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark. Meanwhile, the dewatering and treatment system for the tank excavation will continue to operate 24 hours per day.
The site on which Hoboken’s new park will be located had maintained industrial operations until 2005. Upon testing the property, results indicated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) “between not detected and 420 parts per million (ppm),” rendering it unsafe for residential development.
Former landowner BASF proposed remediating the soil to 25 ppm, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) criteria for “low occupancy” use. By their definition, low occupancy is an area where individuals spend less than an average of 6.7 hours per week. Both the USEPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) approved BASF’s remediation plan, which was completed in November of 2016. The entire lot was then encapsulated with 6‐inch asphalt cap, and Hoboken purchased the property from BASF for $30 million, just weeks after the NJDEP issued their report on the land.
That cap has been removed in order to install the underground water detention system.
“We have a licensed site remediation professional who oversees the site and has overseen the design of the new cap," said Hoboken Environmental Services Director Jennifer Gonzalez at a press conference in February. "The new cap will be a mix of different surface treatment, whether that be pavers and concrete as well as additional vegetation and soil layers—all of which are going to meet DEP and EPA standards, so it will be safe and effective for recreation.”
According to City of Hoboken officials, much of the funding for the project comes from a combination of low interest and interest-free loans, principal forgiveness for the resiliency features, and grant money. The Northwest Resiliency Park also utilizes the Open Space Trust Fund to pay for the construction costs of the Northwest Park, and is not utilizing any funding from the 2020 municipal budget.
Including the price of the land acquisition, the project will ultimately cost well over $90 million to complete.
More information about the Northwest Resiliency Park construction is available at www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark .
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