Last week, I was happy to join with the City Council Members, state and county representatives, Bayonne residents, and building contractors at a ground-breaking ceremony at Francis G. Fitzpatrick Park. The park, which is located on Avenue C between 26th and 27th Streets, was constructed in the 1970s on the site of our former Police and Fire Headquarters. It is named for former Mayor Fitzpatrick, who served from 1962 to 1974. The park has needed renovations for some time.
The park will be renovated thoroughly, along with improvements to the neighborhood’s stormwater system. The improvement program 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. The contractor for the project will be Picerno-Giordano Construction of Kenilworth.
The existing version of the park includes playground equipment, swing sets, a small spray park, a bathroom structure, and seating areas. All of those features will be removed and replaced with modern park improvements. The new version of the park will include separate playgrounds for 2-5 year-olds, and 5-12 year-olds. There will be new swing sets and a splash park area. A roller hockey rink will be installed. It will double as a basketball court. A new porous paver 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 improvements will include the installation of stormwater management upgrades, which will reduce the rate of run-off for storm events in both the park and along Avenue C. The existing sanitary sewer system in Bayonne is a combined system that accepts both sewer discharge and stormwater run-off. 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. There will be new drainage structures at each of the Avenue C intersections with 26th 27th and 28th Streets.
Construction is starting this autumn. We expect completion of construction in 2021. We would like to thank the state and county for their support of this great renovation program.