Raritan Borough Plans “River Initiative”
SOMERVILLE, NJ – Raritan Borough, one of three Somerset County Regional Center communities, recently hosted a “Riverfront Summit” at Duke Farms to review the Borough’s “River Town” initiative, a strategic combination of recreational, cultural, economic development, and infrastructure programs along the Raritan River/Orlando Drive corridorin the Borough.
The summit was attended by approximately 70 people and featured speakers from Raritan Borough, Somerset County, Duke Farms, the Somerset County Business Partnership, Rutgers University, the Central Jersey Stream Team, and a noted Hydrogeologist.
Major planning and infrastructure projects being considered along the riverfront corridor include the complete rezoning of the riverfront for recreational, cultural, and supportive retail uses; the ongoing reconstruction of Orlando Drive from Route 206 to Lyman Street; the creation of a Wayfinding System that will direct visitors from the Raritan Train Station to the Somerset Street business district and the riverfront; extension of the County greenway/bikeway along the Raritan; and the potential for a northern gateway into Duke Farms from the Nevius Bridge. A completed element of the plan is the removal of the two dams upstream of Raritan that has enabled new ecological and recreational opportunities along the river in proximity to the Borough.
The next open discussion on this initiative is scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 5:00 P.M. at the meeting of the Regional Center Partnership when John W. Jengo, PG, LSRP, will be present a PowerPoint presentation on the benefits of the removal of the dams along the main stem of the river. The meeting will take place in the Engineering Conference Room at the Somerset County Administration Building, 20 Grove Street in Somerville, New Jersey.
Jengo is a licensed Professional Geologist and a New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) with MWH Americas, Inc. Over the last six years he planned and directed the removal of the Calco, Nevius Street, and Robert Street Dams on the main stem of the Raritan River. He will also address the issues to be resolved with the removal of the 4th dam -the confluence dam -and the many opportunities in fishing, boating and recreation that will be made available.
The Somerset County Regional Center is the strategic center of the County consisting of 14.2 square miles encompassing Raritan Borough, Somerville Borough, and a portion of Bridgewater Township. The Center is bisected by U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 22, NJ State Route 28, and I-287 with public transit options and serves as the focal point of County government and the regional economy.
The Regional Center designation:
- encourages achievement of policy objectives in critical areas of growth
- enables development and redevelopment by providing priority funding for land use studies, the reclaiming of brownfields, and a broad range of planning and implementation initiatives
- makes available priority funding for economic and community programs that provide for assistance with redevelopment in existing downtown business districts, new infill development opportunities, and residential and non-residential development along major highway and mass transit corridors
- will foster establishment of more effective mass transportation linkages and will provide priority funding for key intersection and corridor improvements and improved pedestrian accessibility
- makes available support and funding for linear open space concepts, for the planning and design of new and existing active recreation facilities, for passive open space acquisitions, and for new and existing historic preservation and revitalization programs.
PRESS CONTACT: Rich Reitman 908-526-1390 or 908-400-6061