News: Army Corps awards $4 million contract for ecosystem restoration work project at Soundview Park in the Bronx
Story by Chris Gardner
NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, has awarded an approximately $4 million base contract to Galvin Brothers Construction Company, a small business based in Great Neck, for the ecosystem restoration work in Soundview Park in the Bronx.
The project will include the excavation of approximately three acres immediately north of the park’s lagoon area and the creation of tidal wetlands in its place. Restoring the tidal wetland north of the lagoon will provide habitat for birds and marine life, improve water quality and promote an overall healthier ecosystem. Fill from the excavation will be used as part of the creation of several acres of wooded and grassland areas to the northwest of the lagoon, which will replace areas that currently have invasive species, debris and other detriments to the ecosystem. Approximately 5,000 new trees will be planted in upland areas north of the tidal wetlands. The contract contains options for an additional $1.3 million of restoration work and items such as the construction of a bike path in the restored area as well as an educational station overlooking the tidal wetlands.
“This ecosystem restoration work is a great piece of our overall restoration initiatives throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and specifically in parts of the Bronx,” said New York District Commander Col. John R. Boulé. “I’m glad to be working with the New York City Parks to help restore this important ecosystem, but also to improve the natural recreational and educational opportunities for residents in the Bronx.”
The approximately $4 million project is the result of a Project Partnership Agreement with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation serving as the local cost-sharing sponsor.
“Soundview Park has long been home to great recreational amenities, from canoe launches and barbecue areas to playgrounds and ballfields,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Thanks to our partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, Soundview Park’s wetlands will soon be a more welcoming place for native flora and fauna, and a valuable resource for Bronxites and New Yorkers who wish to learn more about our urban ecosystem.”
Reps. Jose E. Serrano and Joe Crowley both said they were excited about what the restoration means for the Bronx.
"This comprehensive restoration will have so many benefits for our community and for wildlife in the Bronx River," said Serrano. "With the partnership of Joe Crowley, myself, the Army Corps of Engineers, and NYC Parks, this project has a great team ensuring its success. I look forward to touring the new wetlands and seeing 5,000 new trees in the near future."
"My good friend Congressman Serrano and I are committed to improving the quality of life for the more than one million residents of the Bronx and I am proud that we were able to secure the necessary funding to help restore this Bronx treasure," said Crowley. "The Bronx is home to a number of gems from Pelham Bay Park to City Island, and I am pleased to see the Soundview Park project reach a new juncture after a number of years of work. Today's milestone means we are one step closer to a revitalized Soundview Park and we will continue to be engaged until this entire project is completed and can be enjoyed by all Bronxites."
Design work for the project has been completed and with the award of this contract, construction work will begin in the fall of 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2012.
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