DEP ISSUES PERMITS FOR ASSUNPINK CREEK ENVIRONMENTAL
RESTORATION PROJECT IN TRENTON
WORK TO START THIS SPRING TO REMOVE CULVERT AND RESTORE DAYLIGHT TO
PORTION OF ASSUNPINK CREEK
(15/P14) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection has approved permits for the removal of a 500-foot long Broad Street culvert that carries the Assunpink Creek under a portion of Trenton, and to realign and stabilize the creek as part of a long-awaited restoration effort, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The removal of the culvert will “daylight” the stream, meaning it will no longer run underground. The stream will be stabilized with river stone, boulders and other materials, including native vegetation to be planted on the banks. The project site is about 1,000 feet upstream from the mouth of the Assunpink Creek at the Delaware River
The goal of the project is to offer new recreational opportunities, restore migratory fish habitat, improve the aesthetics of the nearby historic Mill Hill neighborhood, remove an existing safety hazard, and improve the overall stream ecology of the Assunpink Creek by creating an open channel stream system.
“The Christie Administration is pleased to partner with Trenton and the Army Corps of Engineers on this positive project for the city,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “This open channel design will provide a significant new public amenity in downtown Trenton, enhancing a historic neighborhood and offering educational opportunities, while significantly improving the environmental conditions of the Lower Assunpink Creek.”
Work is expected to start on the $4 million project this spring and be completed by the end of 2016. The project is being financed on a 75 percent-25 percent cost share between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the DEP, which is providing $1 million through its 319(h) federal Clean Water Act grant program.
The Lower Assunpink Creek is currently contained within a concrete box culvert that runs between South Broad Street and South Warren Street in downtown Trenton, adjacent to Capital Place One Plaza, and on land owned by Trenton. The creek is currently visible throughout Mill Hill Park before passing under the South Broad Street Bridge and into the culvert until it returns to the surface after the South Warren Street Bridge.
The project will consist of four components: removal of the existing culvert structure, restoration of the stream bed and fish habitat, restoration of stream banks and planting riparian vegetation, and construction of a pedestrian walkway to connect sections of the Assunpink Greenway.
A new channel will be constructed along an alignment that brings the creek away from the Capital Place One building and closer to Assunpink Drive, which will restore it to a location closer to where it existed historically.
“This project has many benefits for our city,” said Trenton Mayor Eric E. Jackson. “It will enhance our downtown and help attract economic development, while improving the quality of life for our residents and visitors. It also will improve a vital historic location that housed Trenton’s first industrial development and was the site of an important battle in the American Revolution. This is a very positive step for our city.”
As part of a requirement for the use of federal Clean Water Act funds provided by the DEP, the project must include stormwater runoff control measures to ensure adherence to surface water quality standards. As designed, the project would reduce sediment and pollutant loads of heavy metals, pesticides, organic contaminants and nutrients from urbanized surface runoff.
For more information on the Lower Assunpink project, please visit:http://www.njfuture.org/issues/development/assunpink-creek-project/assunpink-daylighting/
To view a slide presentation on the project, visit: http://www.njfuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Public-Meeting-Lower-Assunpink-Environmental-Restoration-Project.pdf