The township is set to invest about $800,000 to improve and restore Edgemont Park.
Before the end of 2012, the council approved funds to dredge the pond and update other areas of the park -- such as the playgrounds and storm drainage.
The dredging, said Business Manager Marc Dashield, “will make the pond deeper and clear out all the sediment that came in.” He added it will help eliminate the cloudiness and algae growth in the pond.
The overall cost of the project will be about $798,000. GMP Contracting, of South Plainfield, will do the work and dredge about 6,600 linear feet of soil from the pond.
However, the cost could increase to $808,000 depending on the toxicity levels of the material dredged from the pond. The condition of the soil also led to three rejected bids for the project due to higher than expected proposals for the work.
Concerns over the soil made the township pay for preliminary testing, which found the soil to be safe and helped reduce cost of the overall project, said Dashield.
“The response we got back ... from the vendors was, they had no idea what the material was [in the pond],” said Dashield, “so they were going to the highest recovery costs possible.
“Based on the testing, people would have a better idea what to do with the soil.”
In addition, the contractor will give the soil a second and more comprehensive test.
The contamination was “naturally occurring,” said Dashield, and the park has always been clean. He added that the township is expecting the second soil test to prove the soil is much cleaner than originally expected.
If contamination levels are found again to be low, Montclair State University is expected to take some removed soil for an upcoming project. Disposing the some of the soil nearby, said Dashield, will also help reduce the price tag of the project.
The project will begin as soon as possible and be finished in time for the summer, said Dashield. Portions of the park will be closed off during construction.
While the dredging was needed, Dashield noted it was not a one-time fix. Because the pond is man-made and the sediment build-up is naturally happens, he expected the pond will need another dredging in 10 to 15 years.