On a lazy mid-summer day, you could see the dust rising from miles away as the convoy of dirt-laden dump trucks rumbled down the pothole-riddled road to Fox Point State Park in Edgemoor. As many as 600 truckloads per day arrived at this destination over the summer, as part of Phase II of the state park's current remediation and expansion project.
Most of the thousands of truckloads of dirt needed for the second phase of remediation at the park came from the Delaware Department of Transportation's (DelDOT's) flood-control redevelopment project in Glenville, where a 52-acre wetlands habitat is being created.
This supply of clean dirt, combined with fill previously provided by Corrado-American Inc., the contractor at Fox Point State Park, has saved millions of dollars on the project and considerably shortened the completion date. Such serendipity will allow Phase II of the state park, with its new scenic riverside hike and bike trails, to open as early as next spring.
The park is a captivating contrast of picturesque riverside views in a somewhat industrial setting. The land beneath the park was created when the Pennsylvania Railroad began filling in the bank of the river along its right-of-way. S. Marston Fox, for whom the park is named, began a battle in 1958 to stop the filling process and preserve the four-mile stretch of shoreline as a “window on the river.” His vision will finally become a reality with the completion of Phase II of the park restoration by the Division of Air and Waste Management’s Site Investigation and Restoration Section (SIRS) staff.
Article and photos by John Cargill, Site Investigation and Restoration Section
The park is the northernmost point of the 90-mile Coastal Heritage Greenway and also serves as the eastern-most point of the Northern Delaware Greenway.
It wasn't until the late 1970s that the land was finally turned over to public control. Led by then Rep. David Ennis and Eugene "Tom" Snell, the Fox Point Civic Association took up the fight to turn the area into parkland. In 1990, the land was transferred to the state by New Castle County and the remediation process began.
The past filling and disposal practices at Fox Point had contaminated the soil at the site with heavy metals. These practices included the distribution of sewage sludge. Environmental scientists and engineers in SIRS required extensive environmental assessments to identify appropriate remedial options in order to safely open Phase I as a park in the early 1990s.
The Award-winning Fox Point
State Park Expansion - Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank Project
Congratulations, once again, to team members of the Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank Project and Fox Point State Park Expansion. The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) recently announced that the project had been selected as recipient of the 2009 FHWA Environmental Excellence Award in the Ecology, Habitat and Wildlife category as an Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Program. The project was created after the 2003 flooding of the community of Glenville. DelDOT, DNREC, New Castle County and several federal agencies led by the FHWA implemented the project, which included 46 acres of new and restored wetlands along the Red Clay Creek. After excavating over 300,000 cubic yards of soil to create the wetlands mitigation bank, DelDOT and DNREC reused the soil to cap the new Phase II expansion of the Fox Point State Park. This successful collaboration between DelDOT and DNREC also won the 2008 Governor’s Team Excellence Award.
The Governor’s award is presented annually to a team of state employees that partner together and demonstrate leadership and ingenuity for better efficiency and improved customer service in task completion; or new and creative ways of doing business and cost savings. The entire project included providing public access to the Delaware River, flood-mitigation of the Glenville neighborhood, and the creation of a new 46-acre wetland habitat, with a $3 million dollar cost savings to the taxpayers of Delaware. More information on the Governor’s award can be found here.