Ceremonial shovels for Northwest Resiliency Park

Flood prevention a major feature

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The Nrothwest Resiliency Park will be the city's largest park, retaining two million gallons of rainwater during storms.
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Local and country officials broke ground on the Northwest Resiliency Park this month. Construction will take up to three years.
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The Nrothwest Resiliency Park will be the city's largest park, retaining two million gallons of rainwater during storms.
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Local and country officials broke ground on the Northwest Resiliency Park this month. Construction will take up to three years.

Hoboken’s largest park will become a reality now that Mayor Ravi Bhalla, former Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and the Hoboken community officially broke ground on the Northwest Resiliency Park this month.

The five-acre park will withhold up to two million gallons of rainwater from city streets during storm events in an area routinely plagued by flooding.

“Hoboken’s Northwest Resiliency Park will become a national model for parks across the country, as it combines critical open space needs along with major infrastructure to reduce flooding,” Bhalla said. “When constructed, the park will provide both active uses for residents of all ages, as well as passive space for relaxation and enjoyment, reflecting the needs of our community. I thank the many partners at all levels of government who have made this milestone possible, and look forward to celebrating with residents when construction is complete!”

 The design

The park is bounded by Madison Street to the west, Adams Street to the east, 13th Street to the north, and 12th Street to the south. It also includes a portion of the 1100 block of Madison Street, south of 12th Street.

As New Jersey’s largest resiliency park, and one of the only resiliency parks in the country, the Northwest Resiliency Park will include above-ground green infrastructure such as lowland gardens and trees to absorb and manage up to one million gallons of water during rain events. A large tank and filtration system will be built underground to store an additional one million gallons of rainwater.

This rainwater will be released back into the city’s sewer system after storms, reducing flooding and combined sewer overflows to the Hudson River.

The design of the park was produced through a public process that involved input from community members through meetings, surveys, and listening sessions.

As a result, the park’s final design includes both passive and active park amenities, including playground equipment for children of all ages, a multi-purpose athletic field, basketball court, seasonal ice-skating rink, fountain, play valley, and fitness loop.

Passive park amenities include a large lawn, park pavilion, lowland gardens, and seating areas.

Park costs

The project began under the Zimmer administration when the city purchased the property for $36 million in 2016 from BASF, a chemical company.

A state low-interest loan and Hoboken’s Open Space Trust Fund, which comes from property taxes, financed the purchase.

“The Northwest Resiliency Park is an enormous achievement that will improve the quality of life for Hoboken residents by adding much needed park space, while also providing a critical contribution to Hoboken’s Rebuild By Design strategy to protect our city from flooding,” said former Mayor Zimmer. “Thank you to everyone in my administration who worked so hard with me to make this possible, and thank you to Mayor Bhalla and his administration for moving this critical project toward the finish line.”

In the summer of 2017, Hoboken opened the temporary popup park, which cost roughly $650,000 from the county Open Space Trust Fund, so residents could use the space while city consultants finalized the park’s design.

The city council has approved roughly $55 million in contracts for the park so far.

This includes a contract for $1.6 million to Engineering & Land Planning Associates, Inc. for design engineering support services during the park construction; a $3.7 million contract to Michael Baker International, to provide construction administration, observation, and inspection services for the park; a $1.03 million contract to Excel Environmental Resources, Inc. for Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Services during construction, including air, noise, and odor monitoring and verification of compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for soil sampling; and a $48.6 million contract to Tomco Construction, Inc., for the construction of the park.

The park will be partially financed through low-interest loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, with principal forgiveness because of the park’s green infrastructure features.

The park’s construction also received funding from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund. The city hopes to receive additional grant funding.

“We are proud to contribute a half of million dollars to this transformative project which will not only greatly increase green space and recreation opportunities for Hoboken’s residents, but it will also address major storm water management issues in the area,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “For the last two decades, Hudson County has supported our municipalities with our Open Space Trust and other dollars to grow and improve our open space which not only improves our quality of life but increases property values in every community.”

Construction of the park will last up to three years.

For more information on the park design and regular updates on construction, visit the project website at http://www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.