North Bergen officials broke ground with gold-plated shovels along Paterson Plank Road to make way for a new park that is expected to open by late summer.
The officials had fun throwing dirt towards the media who gathered to record the event, all in good fun of course.
According to town officials, the $1.2 million park is primarily being funded by grants from the Hudson County Open Space Trust and the Community Development Block Grant programs, leaving only about $500,000 to be paid from the township’s capital fund.
They also emphasized how the town was able to save money on the project because the developer constructing the Hudson Mews apartment complex adjacent to the park completed the initial site work and leveled an old structure at it own expense, ultimately saving the township’s taxpayers over $100,000 in preliminary work.
We had an opportunity to interview the project manager of the engineering firm Remington & Vernick Engineers to talk about the park’s unique features.
“The main feature of the park will be a centrally located children’s water spray park, it’ll be flanked on both sides by two play areas with a rubber safety surface [for] two to five-year olds, and five to 12-year olds,” said Donald Norbut.
“There’ll be swings and climbing areas, and there’ll be a main center plaza area with a gazebo with some seeding around it which will really take advantage of these beautiful views around the park. And we also have some lawn panels which will be good for passive recreation, people coming to picnic and to hang out by the water park with their families. So, again, it should be a nice passive and active area for many families in the area.”
The area around the park along Paterson Plank Road is undergoing a transformation from its industrial past of old factory buildings and auto body shops.
Across the street a new Wyndham Hotel is being constructed, and, as previously mentioned, the new Hudson Mews townhouse development will be opening soon.
As families move in and seek out open space, a new park was necessary for the new Paterson Plank Road corridor, according to state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.
“This is the first park that we’ve actually developed from its inception to completion since I’ve been in office. Something was missing in this part of town. The 10th Street Park is small, and the 26th Street Park is smaller,” he began.
“We really didn’t have park space in this area, and I always said that we needed to find a place to build a new park. We took this land, and it will be really great for the neighborhood.”