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: Most of the site clearing is complete with some remaining stumps, root materials, and wood chip piles to be processed. The Camden Redevelopment Agency’s contractor has removed the waste drums, remediated an area containing petroleum product, and closed all old monitoring wells. Perimeter air monitoring equipment is operational and performs continuous monitoring for dust, landfill gases, and volatile organic compounds. Installation of the reinforced silt fencing, perimeter fencing, project signs, a truck wash, the construction trailer compound with equipment storage corral, a temporary dewatering treatment plant, and security cameras is underway or complete.
Elevation cut-and-fill operations began on May 16, 2018 to reshape base elevations for park construction. The excavation started along E. State Street while concurrent fill operations started in the center of the landfill midway between the Kroc Center and E. State Street. Cut operations will progress from the area near E. State Street to the areas along the Delaware River bank while fill operations will continue in the center of the landfill.
BACKGROUND: The former 86-acre municipal landfill is in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden, at Harrison and East State Streets 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, serving 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.
STAKHOLDER INVOLVEMENT: A stakeholder group holds monthly partnering meetings. The group met on March 28th, April 25th, and May 30th, 2018. The group is comprised of representatives for the entities listed above as well as other and it intends to hold these meetings for the duration of the project.
Project Pictures from the beginning to now can be seen below.
Start of Harrison Avenue Landfill Transformation in 2011
Harrison Avenue Landfill showing the completed Salvation Army Kroc Center property
Camden Redevelopment Agency Parcel before tree clearing in March 2018
Camden Redevelopment Agency Parcel - Cramer Hill Park construction after site clearing in Spring 2018
Excavating the canal near State Street
Loading materials to build central elevations.
Below are conceptual renderings of the final design for the park!