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Walk the Walkway

May 11, 2014

Southern Edgewater

On a most magnificent Mother’s Day with bright sun and cool breeze, 17 Walkers including mothers, grandmothers and 3 HRWC Board members met at Whole Foods in Edgewater and toured the evolving and developing Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in the southern half of Edgewater.  The Walkway in this area is largely hidden from River Road and many people, including some of today’s walkers, did not know it existed.

After a brief discussion of the Walkway and the plans for today’s walk, the group looked south where Whole Foods joins the Grand Cove condominiums.  The Walkway at Grand Cove was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and it was good to see that repairs have finally been started.  The wooden deck is being rebuilt and hopefully the Walkway will be reopened in a month or so.

The Walkers proceeded through the Grand Cove grounds to rejoin the Walkway south of Grand Cove.  Immediately adjacent to Grand Cove is Mariner’s Landing where the Walkway had been destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2012.  This area has been completely rebuilt with a new seawall down to the river bed.  As a result, the Walkway suffered no damage from Hurricane Sandy. It is an excellent example of investing in the Walkway infrastructure for the long term.

The next area of Walkway leading to the decaying Binghamton Ferry and Trader Joe's shopping center is a disaster.  The Walkway is undermined with large dangerous pot holes and brush overgrowth.  It is very dangerous walking and warning cones or other protection is needed. Plans are for the Binghamton to be removed and several new restaurants located here. When this occurs, the Walkway will be rebuilt.

The group walked through the Trader Joe’s shopping center parking lot to River Road to pass the Hess Oil Terminal.  The terminal has recently closed and has been sold to a developer. It will take several years to remove the oil tanks and re-mediate the land but when that is completed and the property is developed, another “gap” in the Walkway will be eliminated.

After Hess, the Walkway continues past the Mitsuwa shopping center which is rumored to be closing and a golf driving range where the Walkway is in bad shape.  The owners of the driving range refuse to spend any money to maintain the Walkway and it is decaying with benches and lights missing and broken and plastic garbage cans instead of permanent cans.

Next the walkers passed the Edgewater Commons shopping center where there was some evidence of deterioration with missing pavers and overgrowth.  Possibly a meeting with the owners, Midco Properties, will prompt them to do maintenance before the Walkway gets seriously damaged.

After Edgewater Commons, the Walkway leads to Independence Harbor, a high end condominium complex with an absolutely spectacular vista view of the Hudson River.  You can see the entire length of Manhattan from the Verrazano Bridge to the George Washington Bridge.  Independence Harbor has done an excellent job of maintaining the Walkway and the small parks at either end of their property.  They clearly recognize the value that the Walkway brings to their community.

Passing the Marquis on the Hudson, the newest condominium on the Walkway and the movie theater, the group proceeded around the Promenade condos which are built on a pier and have significant damage to the waterfront patio and garage. Next was City Place with another excellent view of New York.  The Walkway comes to a dead end after City Place as the next property is the Quantas Superfund site where remediation of an old chromium factory continues.  It will be several years before the remediation is complete and the property can be developed.  The walkers detoured back to River Road to pass Quantas and an old factory that will eventually be torn down for redevelopment and arrived at the brand new section of Walkway in the “I-Park” development.  I-Park is the old Unilever Research Site that is being converted to residential and commercial facilities along with a Town Hall for Edgewater.

The developers of I-Park have refurbished a pier but have posted this pier as closed to the public and for Tenants Only.  This is in violation of the Public Trust where the public is to have access to water’s edge.  Some action is needed with the developer to open this pier to the public,

The walk ended at I-Park at 11:15 where the group said good-by, wished everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and returned at their own pace to the starting point at Whole Foods by noon.  Some adventurous Walkers continued south into North Bergen to rejoin the Walkway at the Watermark Condominium.  From the Watermark, the Walkway continues all the way to Goldman Sachs in Jersey City almost uninterrupted.

The next Walk the Walkway walk will be on June 8 where we will again meet at Whole Foods in Edgewater and explore the northern half of Edgewater.


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