A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for construction that will create a continuous walkway along Bayonne’s western shoreline on Newark Bay.
Business Development Officer Al Pasiechnik, City Treasurer Janet Convery, Councilman Juan Perez, Bayonne Business Administrator Terrence Malloy, Assistant Business Administrator Mark Bonamo, and Rent Regulation Officer Camille Burgos dug ceremonial shovels into the dirt on Nov. 18.
By filling in portions of land that currently create gaps between existing walkways along the waterfront, construction will work toward establishing a walkable path connecting Rutkowski Park, uptown, to Dennis P. Collins Park at the southern tip of the peninsula.
Between these two parks are Bayonne’s Veteran’s Park, Stephen R. Gregg County Park, and the 16th Street Park, chock full of activities, including playgrounds, foliage, sports fields, and a kayak launch.
Dollars for a dream
Officials have long wanted walkways along Newark Bay. They hope to embellish the walkway with public recreational amenities, including shaded seating, trees, and benches offering panoramic views of the bay.
Bayonne received funding for the construction from a number of Green Acres grants from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The first came in 2017, when Bayonne received $900,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection to pursue greater public waterfront access.
That same year, the city received a $1 million federal grant as part of a settlement between the DEP and several chemical companies that discharged dioxin, a dangerous carcinogen, along with other contaminants into the Passaic River, which flows into Newark Bay waterways.
The DEP matched that grant with another $1 million from the Garden State Preservation Trust to improve access to Newark Bay.
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