|The waterfront is one of Middlesex Countys best assets. However, much of the land along the Raritan River and the Arthur Kill is abandoned industrial property which has not been used productively in many years. The MCIA is involved in several projects designed to remediate these areas to attract new businesses and create parks and open space for residents.|
The MCIA has secured close to two million dollars in United States Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grants since 1997. These programs leveraged much more in federal, state, and local funding to investigate and plan for the redevelopment of brownfields properties in Middlesex County.
Brownfields Assessment Grant, $200,000
Used in the City of South Amboy to support the Intermodal Transportation Center and in City of Perth Amboy and the Borough of Milltown.
Along with significant federal, state, and county transportation funding, this grant was used to move several waterfront properties towards construction readiness by understanding the environmental conditions. The MCIA provided several years of redevelopment technical assistance to the project as well.
Waterfront Area of Proposed South Amboy Intermodal Transportation Center
Brownfields Hazardous Materials Assessment Grant, $350,000
Used in the Milltown-Ford Area Redevelopment Area.
This project included a pilot triad approach to rapid site investigations sponsored in part by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Office of Brownfield Reuse and the United States Environmental Protection Office of Technology Innovation. The project leveraged substantial additional dollars and in-kind resources. The MCIA also provided several years of technical assistance to the project.
Milltown-Ford Avenue Redevelopment Area in foreground
Brownfields Petroleum Sites Assessment Grant, $200,000
Being used in the Boroughs of Middlesex and Carteret
The rapid investigation of a former auto scrap yard in the Borough of Middlesex led to a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection No Further Action Letter. This cleared the way for the Borough to consider the site for a municipal re-use. In addition, the MCIA has been providing in-kind technical assistance and redevelopment advice. Assessment funds also are being used in the Borough of Carteret’s West Carteret Redevelopment Area.
Former scrap yard in the Borough of Middlesex
Brownfields Hazardous Materials Assessment Grant, $200,000
Being used in the Gateway Section of the Lincoln Boulevard Rehabilitation Area, Borough of Middlesex.
Coupled with private developer funds, grant monies and MCIA redevelopment services being used to investigate properties for their proposed re-use for a loft-style residential complex. The Authority is also providing redevelopment technical assistance to the project.
Lincoln Boulevard Rehabilitation Area Site
Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant, $1,000,000
This grant is being used in the City of Perth Amboy and Township of Woodbridge.
This new form of U.S.E.P.A. grant, awarded in 2009, encourages partnerships with local communities to assess properties. Entities participating in this partnership include the City of Perth Amboy, Perth Amboy Merchants Association, Raritan Valley YMCA, Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency, Raritan River Baykeeper, Perth Amboy High School Environmental Club, Perth Amboy Chamber of Commerce, the Township of Woodbridge, Woodbridge Environmental Commission, and Woodbridge Economic Development Corporation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the MCIA as lead agency. Currently properties are being evaluated for inclusion in the program.
Highland Park Safe Moves
The MCIA assisted the Borough in securing over $3.5 million in transportation funds for downtown and River Road improvements that aim to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and enhance the functioning of the downtown area. The Borough is now managing the project thorough the design and permitting phases.
The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders requested the MCIA to determine the feasibility of potentially dredging the Raritan River to foster recreational boating from the Raritan Bay up to the Albany Street Bridge in New Brunswick. Two studies, the Dredging Feasibility Report and the Sediment Characterization Report concluded that the concept was quite feasible. Surprisingly, most of the river is navigable, but poorly marked. To further the County's recreational vision for the River, the MCIA coordinated a special district planning process with riverfront communities and other interest groups. The process led to the award winning Raritan Riverfront Strategy Plan that identified local landside projects that complement the vision. New Brunswick Landing, a floating day dock and supportive channel marking and dredging project, was selected as a catalyst project to encourage recreational boaters to travel up river to what will be the northern most navigable point. The MCIA also submitted funding and permit applications for this project, with several million dollars committed to it to date. The Authority has assisted the County as needed as it undertook further project management, design engineering, and construction. The project's official opening ceremony took place June 18, 2011.
Alvin P. Williams Memorial Park, Woodbridge
The MCIA, the Township of Woodbridge and Middlesex County formed a partnership to create a county waterfront park on the Sewaren Peninsula along the Arthur Kill. The project received both Green Acres and remediation funds from the Department of Environmental Protection. The park is now open and includes open fields, walkways, an amphitheater, an ages 2- 12 playground, a water play area, interpretive history and ecology signs and other amenities.
Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
Opened in 1998, this 136-acre park on the waterfront in Sayreville and South Amboy was developed as a joint project of Middlesex County and the municipalities of Sayreville and South Amboy, with the MCIA completing the county-guaranteed bond issue for financing the project. The park contains lighted softball, baseball and football/soccer fields; a pavilion; a riverfront walkway; grassland, woodland and wildlife habitat and reserve areas; a comfort station and a paved parking area. It is already one of the most popular sites in the Middlesex County park system.
Intermodal Transportation Center, South Amboy
This project involves a rail/bus/ferry transportation center that would be the centerpiece of a mixed-use development initiative along the South Amboy waterfront. The MCIA helped South Amboy obtain $14.5 million in federal funding for the project, and provided planning, development and other financing assistance.
National Lead, Sayreville
This 900-acre waterfront site, which once served as an industrial center for Sayreville, has been vacant since 1982. The MCIA has worked with the Sayreville Economic Redevelopment Agency to facilitate the revitalization and redevelopment of the property.