Although delayed by Super Storm Sandy, wetlands mitigation, and other problems, the county’s $13 million nine-hole public-use golf course in Lincoln Park in Jersey City is finally on track to be completed by spring 2015 with golf play the following year, said representatives from the Hudson County Improvement Authority at the July 8 Board of Freeholders caucus meeting.
Located in Lincoln Park West, the course is being constructed on approximately 60 acres of underutilized land. Started in 2010, the project was originally slated to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
But it was delayed by several factors, including waiting for two other projects to be completed, and the coming of Hurricane Sandy. The Lincoln Park Wetlands Restoration Project along the proposed new course’s south border, which restored approximately 31 acres of wetlands, created 4,500 linear feet of tidal creeks, and initiated a new walking trail near the Hackensack River, was significantly impacted by tidal flooding associated with Sandy. So was the proposed capping of a former landfill.
“Everything should be done by November.” – Patrick Stamato
At the time, County Executive Tom DeGise said the county lacked a course affordable to the general public. While Hudson County has two other golf courses, one in Jersey City and one in Bayonne, both are exclusive clubs that cater to wealthy patrons. DeGise, an avid golfer, said many residents of Hudson County have to travel out of the county to play, and by building an affordable golf course here, people would travel less and the county would collect revenues on its use.
Blame Mother Nature
The project was to have been completed in 2012. After Sandy flooded the golf course location and the nearby environmental mitigation site, the HCIA decided to increase the height of the golf course to avoid flooding from future storms. So far more than1 million cubic yards of soil have been delivered to the golf course site.
Since then, the project has made huge strides, even though the site appears on the surface to be unchanged. When it’s finished, the new course will feature three par 5 holes, three par 4 holes, and three par 3 holes, with approximately 3,200 total yardage.
Last year, Freeholder Bill O’Dea had raised concern about the delays, citing the fact that the county actually made money from accepting clean fill for the property. The freeholders over the last two years have approved three extensions for completion.
O’Dea asked this week for a progress report on the project. Patrick Stamato of the HCIA said 75 percent of the soil capping and 70 percent of the irrigation work is complete. Work is still progressing on most of the holes, although much of is already done on more than half.
Seeding for grass, which is the most visible sign of progress, will be started in about three weeks and will take more than a month to complete, Stamato said.
“Seventy percent of the walkways are done,” he said, noting that areas for the roughs, drainage, retaining walls and fences are also advancing.
“The club house building is complete,” he said, noting that two other buildings are also advancing and should be done shortly. “Everything should be done by November.”
But because the grass needs two seasons to secure, the first tee-off will not likely occur until 2016.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.