Bayonne breaks ground on Fitzpatrick Park renovations

The city will rebuild the park, adding stormwater management upgrades

Left to right are Alan Miller (Community Liaison, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection); Third Ward Council Member Gary La Pelusa; City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski; Mayor Jimmy Davis; Municipal Services Director Tim Boyle; Second Ward Council Member Sal Gullace; Council Member At-Large Juan Perez; First Ward Council Member Neil Carroll III; City Engineer Robert Russo; and Public Works Director Tom Cotter.
×
Left to right are Alan Miller (Community Liaison, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection); Third Ward Council Member Gary La Pelusa; City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski; Mayor Jimmy Davis; Municipal Services Director Tim Boyle; Second Ward Council Member Sal Gullace; Council Member At-Large Juan Perez; First Ward Council Member Neil Carroll III; City Engineer Robert Russo; and Public Works Director Tom Cotter.

Public officials joined with building contractors and residents for a groundbreaking ceremony at Fitzpatrick Park on Oct. 14. The park is across the street from City Hall on Avenue C, between West 26th and 27th Streets.

The park will be renovated thoroughly, along with improvements to the neighborhood’s stormwater system. 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.

Partial grant funding

The park was constructed in the 1970s on the site of Bayonne’s former Police and Fire Headquarters. It’s named for former Mayor Fitzpatrick, who served from 1962 to 1974.

Construction will be funded partially by a Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund Grant in the amount of $661,000, and funding from the New Jersey Water Bank in the amount of $1,478,547.50. The Water Bank is a program of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

On Oct. 21, the city council is expected to adopt an ordinance that would bond $2,086,786.20 for improvements to Fitzpatrick Park.

The contractor will be Picerno-Giordano Construction of Kenilworth, awarded by the city council at the Sept. 23 meeting.

Overhauling amenities

The current park includes playground equipment, swing sets, a small spray park, a bathroom structure, and seating areas. Those features will be removed and replaced with modern park improvements.

The new version will include separate playgrounds for two to five-year-olds, and five to twelve-year-olds. There will be new swing sets and a splash park area.

A roller hockey rink will be installed, doubling as a basketball court. A new patio area will include game tables and picnic tables that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

A new drinking fountain will include a pet drinking feature. Pet waste stations will be added.

Twelve shade trees will be installed along with 272 shrubs and other plantings.

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.

Managing stormwater runoff

The improvements will include the installation of stormwater management upgrades, which will reduce the rate of runoff for storms in both the park and along Avenue C.

Bayonne’s existing sanitary sewer system is a combined system that accepts both sewer discharge and stormwater runoff. This combination places a strain on the sewer system.

“We will help address that problem by installing a new stormwater piping system, separate from the sanitary piping from 26th Street to 28th Street,” Davis said. “There will be new drainage structures at each of the Avenue C intersections with 26th, 27th, and 28th Streets.”

Construction is starting this fall and will wrap up next year.

Davis concluded, “We expect completion of construction in 2021. We would like to thank the state and county for their support of this great renovation program.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.