HOBOKEN, New Jersey — A $14 million grant is headed for Hoboken to help the city build a park designed to capture stormwater.
The park will be the city’s largest recreation space, once it’s done. Officials say it may even be the largest park designed to hold flood water in the country.
“This construction site will turn into a park that will not only provide critical open space for our community, but will also become the largest component of our strategy to mitigate flooding,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
The Northwest Resiliency Park near Madison and 12th streets is in its fifth month of construction.
The park spans 5 acres and stretches for two city blocks. Currently, it’s gated off as workers dig massive holes that will be part of a system to contain almost 2 million gallons of flood water, before filtering it and discharging it into the Hudson River.
The underground storage tanks will eventually be covered and buried beneath a playground, an ice rink and a sports field for soccer, baseball and lacrosse. There will also be a basketball court built at a lower elevation to double as a 86,000-gallon flood water tub.
The entire system — combined with green rain gardens — is expected to decrease flood events in the area by 90%.
The Northwest Resiliency Park will be Hoboken’s third resilience greenspace — all built after Superstorm Sandy. It’s being built on top of a previously capped, contaminated industrial site.
“It may have been over seven years ago now, but the people of New Jersey will never forget the destruction unleashed by Superstorm Sandy,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, who fought for the grant money.
The funding is provided by FEMA, which contributed $10 million, and another $4 million will come from the North Hudson Sewer Authority.
Residents who live up to 40 acres from this park are expected to see an impact from the floodwater mitigation project.
The project should be done by fall 2022 and it’s expected to cost almost $50 million.