The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, is helping to revitalize a former industrial area along the Lower Passaic River in the downtown area of Newark, N.J.
In partnership with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Newark, the construction of Joseph G. Minish Park will reduce riverbank erosion and set the ground work for waterfront park development that will ensure public access to the once neglected Lower Passaic River.
The project is comprised of three phases: Phase I is 6,000 feet of new bulkhead, 3,200 feet of restored riverbank and creation of wetlands, Phase II is the 9,200- foot waterfront walkway and Phase III is the park facilities, plazas, and landscaping. The project is expected to cost $56.2M—with funding being provided by the Disaster Relief Act, which Congress passed following Hurricane Sandy.
The completion of Phase 1 will provide a new bulkhead to help reduce the risk of land loss by stabilizing the stream bank along the Passaic River in the city of Newark, NJ.
“The degradation to the Passaic River waterfront where the Minish Project is located is due to the 300+ years of commercial and industrial development in the area,” said Paul Tumminello, chief, civil works branch, New York District. “Historically, a number of industries have operated on the waterfront since it was first settled in Colonial Times.”
Tumminello went on to say the Waterfront has been used for tanneries, breweries, gas works, and other heavy industrial operations—all of which contributed to the degradation. The Lower Passaic River, which runs along Minish Park’s waterfront is now part of an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site that is undergoing long term remediation to remove and cap contaminated river sediments.
Currently, contract 3A, which includes the continuous bulkhead structure from Center Street north to Lombardy Street, is schedule to be completed by July 2021. Phase 2, contract 3B, is schedule to be awarded in October 2021, and Phase 3, contract 4B, is scheduled to be awarded in April 2022.
“The residents of Newark will benefit from this project because the city will be constructing a new park once we’re done,” said Sherif Guirguis, project engineer, New York District. “In addition to the newly constructed park residential and commercial real estate values will increase.”