2023 Taylor Park Pond Dredging
TAYLOR POND DREDGING PROJECT
MILLBURN TOWNSHIP, ESSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
The Township is moving forward with dredging of Taylor Pond. The following list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is intended to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. The FAQ list may be revised and updated as necessary (please refer to the revision date noted above).
If you have additional questions not addressed on this FAQ list, please contact us at the email address listed below. We will do our best to answer your questions and update the FAQ list accordingly.
Thank you for your patience as we progress with this critical project.
Martha Callahan, P.E., C.F.M., C.M.E.
Millburn Township Engineer
1. Why are we dredging the pond?
Occasional removal of accumulated sediment is necessary to maintain the pond’s physical features and ecological health. In addition, large sediment deposits occurred as a result of the significant rainfall associated with Hurricane Ida. Sediment accumulation has reached a level that poses a threat to water quality, aquatic vegetation, and recreational activity. The dredging project will restore these features and protect our community’s important asset.
2. What is the anticipated timeframe for construction activities?
- Pre-construction activities in Taylor Park will begin in early September 2023.
- Lowering of pond waters will begin after September 15, 2023, in accordance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulations.
- Dredging will take place throughout the fall and is expected to conclude by the end of 2023.
3. What will happen during construction?
The general construction sequence will include:
- Fish Salvage – Fish and aquatic life will be protected through proper NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife salvage protocols.
- Water Lowering – Pond water will be drained through the dam. Natural stream flow will be safely maintained for the duration of the project.
- Sediment Removal – Excavators and trucks will remove sediment, which will be hauled away to licensed disposal sites. Construction traffic will be directed to and from I-78 via Ridgewood Road and Millburn Avenue.
- Pond Restoration – The pond will be filled via natural stream flow to its pre-construction level. The construction area will be restored, including re-paving of the construction access route within the park.
4.Will Taylor Park be open during construction?
Yes. However, it is critical that residents and park visitors keep the following safety measures in mind during construction:
- For your personal protection and safety, do not enter the drained pond bed at any time.
- The entire pond bed and a portion of Taylor Park will be considered active construction zones. Residents should follow all construction signage and must not enter any fenced areas.
- Muddy conditions and the presence of large construction equipment will create a hazardous environment. Please exercise caution.
- Access to some areas of the park will be restricted during this time. Please see the attached map for details.
5. How can I access the Bauer Center?
The northern entrances to the Bauer Center will be closed. Other access points will remain open, including the accessible entrance on the south side of the building. Please note: Beginning September 22, senior programs that normally take place at Bauer on Mondays and Fridays will be temporarily relocated to the Millburn Library and senior programs that normally take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays will be relocated to Gero Park (333 White Oak Ridge Road).
6. Will the Senior Citizen bus still operate?
Yes, the bus schedule will continue as usual.
7. Will the tennis and basketball courts remain open?
Yes, access to these facilities will be maintained during construction.
8. What are the construction hours?
Construction work will take place Monday through Friday during business hours. Construction may also be necessary at other times, as authorized by the Township. Pumping equipment will be operating continuously during construction.
9. How is the project being funded?
FEMA recovery funds received following Hurricane Ida will support construction costs.
10. What happens during fish salvage?
Fish salvage and relocation efforts will be conducted by a licensed aquatic specialist. Native fish species (such as trout) will be relocated downstream, and invasive fish species (such as carp and koi) will be humanely destroyed. All activities will be conducted according to NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife permit requirements.
11. Will water lowering result in downstream flooding?
No. The pond will be lowered at a rate that will not result in flooding, erosion, or sedimentation of downstream waters.
12. Please explain the odor noted during water lowering.
While pond waters are lowered, residents and park visitors may notice an unpleasant odor due to exposure of dead algae and other decaying matter. The intensity of the odor will vary depending on prevailing winds. The odor intensity will also increase as dredging activities disturb and remove the underlying sediment layers.