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Harrison Avenue Landfill/Cramer Hill Waterfront Park Project

The transformation of the Harrison Avenue Landfill into the 62-acre Cramer Hill Waterfront Park includes shoreline protection, landfill closure, natural resource restoration, and park construction.

ACTIVITIES UPDATE: Site clearing is complete except for limited work needed to remove smaller trees and undergrowth in the habitat conservation areas which will be performed in Fall 2018.  Perimeter air monitoring equipment is operational and performs continuous monitoring for dust, landfill gases and volatile organic compounds while work is underway.  Installation of the reinforced silt fencing, perimeter fencing, project signs, a truck wash, and the construction trailer compound with equipment storage corral is complete.  The temporary dewatering treatment plant location is prepared and the plant itself will be constructed by the end of 2018.  Installation of security cameras is underway.

The cut, fill, grading, and compaction of landfill materials began on May 16, 2018.  These operations are needed to reshape the base elevations and contours for the park construction.  The cut operations started along E. State Street near the Cooper River then progressed East towards the intersection with Harrison Avenue and then North towards the interior of the landfill.  The cut operations progressed into the area where the Delaware River converges with the Cooper River, the area where trenching is needed to create the habitat conservation island, along the length of the Delaware River, and playground.  Fill operations were concurrently performed in the locations for the amphitheater, then summit vista and now include the reforestation plant community behind The Salvation Army Kroc Center.  Cut-and-fill operations will continue in these areas.  Grading operations have been performed over much of the site and compaction of relocated materials has also been conducted.

Contractors for the Camden Redevelopment Agency (CRA) have removed the waste drums, remediated an area containing petroleum product, and closed all old monitoring wells.  Coordination with CRA’s contractors is now performed on an “as needed” basis for off-site disposal of certain unsuitable materials.

Cramer Hill Waterfront Park Conceptual Plan

BACKGROUND: The former 86-acre municipal landfill is in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden, at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and East State Street where the Cooper River flows into the Delaware River.  The landfill operated from approximately 1952 to 1971, but it was never capped or officially closed.  In 2006, the estate of Joan Kroc provided $59 million to the Salvation Army to build a 120,000 square-foot Community Center on a 24-acre northeastern portion of the landfill.  NJDEP provided funding of $26 million, mainly through the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund, to finance the investigation of the site and remediate the portion of the landfill under the proposed community center.  The Kroc Community Center opened in 2014 and serves over 8,000 residents.  DEP’s Office of Natural Resource Restoration (ONRR), using natural resource damage settlement monies, completed a design to close and restore the remaining 62 acres of the landfill in the fall of 2017.  Please refer to the “Schedule” section below for information on the bidding milestones and construction schedule.

PROJECT SUMMARY: Managed by the ONRR, the 62-acre project has 4 main components: shoreline protection, landfill closure, habitat restoration, and park construction.

The shoreline protection involves regrading and stabilizing over 3,000 feet of shoreline on the Delaware River where municipal solid waste (MSW) and contaminated soil including pesticides and PCBs are exposed on the surface of the unstable, steep slopes in this area of the landfill.

The landfill closure involves excavating and redistributing about 375,000 cubic yards of solid waste and soil onto the center of the landfill, installing a passive gas venting system, and constructing a 2-foot thick semi-permeable cap of clean fill material and vegetation.

Habitat restoration involves enhancing and expanding the existing freshwater wetlands by constructing approximately 7 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands on both the Cooper and Delaware Rivers, creating 3 living shoreline areas along the back channel of the Delaware River, preserving three areas of existing trees as bald eagle forage habitat, re-planting trees within the remainder of the bald eagle forage habitat including an area where large, specimen trees will be planted.  Over 375,000 plantings are included in the project.  The tidal freshwater wetland on the Cooper River will connect to a fishing pond that will also be a prominent feature of the waterfront park. 

The waterfront park will include features such as an amphitheater, an entry plaza, exercise stations, a fishing plaza, hiking/biking paths and trails, historic/educational signage, a kayak launch, a picnic area, a playground, a sensory garden, shoreline observation areas, and a vista summit with panoramic views of Camden, the Delaware River, and Philadelphia.

SCHEDULE: The Division of Coastal Engineering (DCE) issued a bid solicitation on December 1, 2017 and awarded the contract to JPC Group, Inc on January 30, 2018.  DCE executed the contract and issued Notice to Proceed on February 15, 2018.  Representatives from JPC Group, Inc., the City of Camden, Camden Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Coopers Ferry, the Camden County Police Department, the Salvation Army, CDM Smith, DCE, and ONRR attended a February 23, 2018 pre-construction meeting.  JPC Group, Inc began construction on March 5, 2018 as planned and progress continues with the site preparation efforts described in the Activities Update section.\

ONRR will manage the various stages of the construction project which is tentatively scheduled for completion in the late-spring of 2021 when the park will open to the public and be turned over to CRA.   ONRR will continue to oversee compliance with land use permit mitigation requirements into 2025.

A summary of the project schedule is shown below.

Project Summary Schedule
Summary Schedule

STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT: ONRR holds monthly partnering meetings with a stakeholder group comprised of representatives for the entities listed above.  Meetings on the construction phase began in March 2018 and are intended to continue for the duration of the project.

ONRR also hosted two public information sessions at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. The first was held on July 24, 2017 to introduce the design plans to the community and the second was held on June 25, 2018 to provide an update now that construction is underway.

Project Pictures from the beginning to now can be seen on our gallery page


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Last Updated: September 27, 2018