Municipal park renovations continue as residents find safe refuge in the outdoor recreational spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city is moving forward with plans to renovate Francis G. Fitzpatrick Park. The park is across the street from City Hall on Avenue C, between West 26th and 27th Streets.
Playgrounds, picnics, and pets
The contract to construct $2,086,786.20 in improvements was awarded to Picerno Giordano of Kenilworth at the Sept. 23 city council meeting
The renovations will include a new splash park area, new playgrounds for youth of all ages, a tennis court, roller hockey rink, and bike rack. Plans for a patio with picnic tables, drinking fountains for both residents and their pets, and improvements to lighting and landscaping.
A small building on the property will be torn down as well as 17 trees, which will be replaced by 14 different trees.
Upgrades include the construction of storm water storage tanks, which will help prevent sewage systems from overflowing, among other storm water runoff issues.
The upgraded park will once again become the home of the Bayonne Farmers Market, as well as other events. Traditionally, a Christmas Tree lighting and Menorah lighting are held at Fitzpatrick Park.
The renovations are part of citywide efforts that have been ongoing since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor James Davis announced the continuation of improvements to municipal parks on Jan. 13, including Mayor Dennis P. Collins Park, Mayor Francis G. Fitzpatrick Park, 28th Street Park, Dr. David Morris Park, Russell Golding Park, and Cottage Street Park.
The city completed Phase I of the improvements to Collins Park in 2018, including new playground and exercise equipment, renovated tennis courts, a new volleyball court, new dog parks, new trees, and benches, among other improvements.
But before Phase II can begin, further environmental cleanup efforts must take place. Work started in January, but the contractor, PPG, suspended operations in late April to prevent workers from being exposed to COVID-19.
PPG resumed the environmental cleanup in September, which involves the removal of contaminates from the soil, including chromate. Clean replacement soil will be added. Once the cleanup is complete, renovations will continue.
Improvements in Phase II include the construction of new basketball courts, playgrounds, and handicapped entrances. According to Davis, the city will rebuild the parking lot.
Along the Kill Van Kull shoreline near Collins Park, riprap needs to be removed because the stones do not meet the specifications for the shoreline area. The stones will be moved to Veterans’ Park along Newark Bay near Ahern Veterans’ Stadium, where they will help reinforce the Newark Bay shoreline and assist future waterfront walkway construction.
The environmental work is expected to be completed in 2021. Additional park improvements that have been on hold will move forward.
Golding Park project could receive county funding
In June, the city council moved to apply for $500,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund for improvements to Russell Golding Park. The park is on Avenue E, perpendicular to East 49th Street, and is currently home to a spray park, playground, basketball courts, benches and walking paths.
In August, the park was designated to receive funding under the Open Space Trust Fund by what was then the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Effective January 1, the outdated and offensive title “freeholders” will be replaced by “commissioners.”
Renovations are on hold because construction on the nearby NJ Turnpike interchange has temporarily halted the project.
With the project totaling approximately $900,000, the city plans to provide the rest of the needed funds. The board was expected to vote on the measure Oct. 7.
Details have yet to be released regarding 28th Street Park on Avenue F, Morris Park at 47th Street and Broadway, and Cottage Street Park.
Before the pandemic, the city had developed a concept plan and had begun work on new designs for the three parks. Plans have not been finalized.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.