$2.9M added for makeover of Newark riverfront
Like violent crime and poverty, the Passaic River is one of those challenges in Newark that just resists a resolution.
While Mayor Booker and Senator Lautenberg announced an additional $2.9 million for the restoration project along the riverfront, much of the near term work will just be laying the foundation for the work still yet to be completed. The total cost could cost $80 million and run on for the next several years before Newarkers have a walkable promenade along the Passaic.
Newarkers will have to be patient and tenacious, but the good news is that work has already begun, and that as much as 30% of it could be funded by federal grants.
Booker said one of his goals is to complete usable portions of the park by the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. The mayor has tapped into private philanthropy pools to help remake the city’s neighborhood parks, and he said he envisions using some of that money for the waterfront.
“We are now taking a dramatic step forward to reclaiming our river, reclaiming our community space, reclaiming parks,” Booker said.
But Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Stefan Pryor said it’s more likely plans for the park could be finished in 2009 with work beginning in 2010 and that portions of the park wouldn’t be usable until later into the next decade.