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The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority recently completed stormwater control and water quality improvements that are being funded with approximately $5.4 million in loans from the NJ Water Bank, a joint low-rate funding program of the DEP and the NJ I-Bank. Several components of this project qualified for principal forgiveness totaling the maximum allowable amount of $1 million as they addressed damage from Superstorm Sandy and improved resilience for future storms. Including interest cost savings, total savings for this project are estimated to be $3.1 million, over the 30-year term of the loan or 58% of the total project cost. In addition, this project created an estimated 63 direct construction jobs.
The project included the construction of green infrastructure facilities throughout Camden including rain gardens, planter boxes, porous concrete sidewalks and porous pavement. Each project site will either decrease runoff or detain it for a sufficient time after potential storms to manage stormwater runoff from impervious areas and reduce pressure from the City's combined sewer system.
Due to the hydraulic constraints from clogged or collapsed combined sewer pipes, overflows from some of the City's existing combined sewers were creating backups and flooding. This project prevents backups and overflows by restoring the capacity of the existing combined sewers. Approximately 2,736 linear feet of existing deteriorated sections of combined sewer pipes were replaced with reinforced concrete or PVC pipes.
The final component of this project creates Phase 2 of Phoenix Park. In order to rehabilitate the area of an abandoned factory, the CCMUA rehabilitated a portion of the property on Jefferson Avenue. Approximately 14,500 square feet of this area was excavated extending from the center of the site towards the Delaware River. An existing concrete bulkhead and a pile of concrete weighing approximately 338 tons were removed from the river's edge and replaced with a new bulkhead. A stabilized access ramp was constructed at the water's edge near the overlook plaza, which was also constructed and included new trees. Approximately 9,000 square feet of wetlands were introduced near the water, and in the uplands area a native meadow was planted. Between the armored embankment and the native meadow, the CCMUA planted approximately 700 square feet of turf grass.
According to Frank Moran, Mayor of Camden City, Andy Kricun, Executive Director of the CCMUA, and his staff are visionaries when it comes to stormwater management. They have already transformed the City by reducing flooding caused by combined sewer overflows and created open space for our residents. They continue to manage our stormwater problems with streamlined efficiency and effective best practices always with low-cost financing. This project reflects this strategy as it results in the protection of the health of our residents and the environment with a whopping $1 million principal forgiveness and saving almost 60% of the total project cost. I thank the CCMUA for their dedication to improving our City in an affordable manner."
This project was designed by Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson Engineers and constructed by the Ambient Group, T&T Commonwealth and Command Co., Inc.
Pictures courtesy of Camden County MUA