New Jersey Borough Prepares to Open New Marina

The Borough of Carteret, New Jersey, has been working since the 1990’s to reopen its heavily-industrialized waterfront along Arthur Kill to the public. It has already built Veteran’s Pier and Waterfront Park, and added parking, a boat ramp and other amenities. Now, in time for this year’s boating season, the city is getting ready to celebrate the grand opening of the 184-slip Carteret Marina.

Arthur Kill (also known as Staten Island Sound) is a major shipping channel. Before the borough could get the marina approved, the city had to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the harbor pilots and other groups that pleasure craft could safely co-exist with the waterway’s ocean-going tankers, tugs and other commercial traffic. Working with CME Associates, Carteret commissioned studies on water flow through the proposed marina area and on the movement of the tugs, barges, tankers and other commercial traffic through Arthur Kill.

Once the borough secured all the necessary approvals, it launched a three-phase project for the marina area. The first phase, which started in 2016, included bulkhead work and dredging to deepen the marina basin. Phase two involved the construction of the marina’s wave attenuator and docks.

“We brought in a local engineering university to perform some wake studies and surge studies, and used that information to build up a wave attenuation system to make the marina a safer place,” said Matthew Zwingraf, project engineer at CME Associates.

Bellingham Marine worked closely with CME on the design and layout of the 700-foot, fixed-concrete wave screen along the outer edge of the marina, and on a 265-foot, 18-foot-wide floating concrete wave attenuator at the marina’s southern end.

“The piles were pre-driven, since the borough was only allowed to drive piles at a certain time of year,” said Jay Varga, manager of project development, Bellingham Marine. “When we laid out the dock system, we were given those dimensions so the dock would match the existing piles.”

Bellingham shipped the docks from its factory in York, Pennsylvania, between August and mid-December 2018. The marina includes eight piers with a total of 184 slips for boats ranging from 20 to 80 feet. (The average size of the boat is expected to be in the 30- to 40-foot range.) The New Jersey State Police, which has its marine station on the site, will be using 13 of the slips for its own boats.

To help ensure the safety of the boaters using the marina, CME came up with a vessel tracking system that will actuate a red light or a green light so that boaters will know when it’s safe to enter or leave the marina.

Once the marina is operating, the Borough of Carteret will turn its attention to the next phase of its waterfront makeover. Phase three will be the improvement of the upland portion of the marina, and will include a new parking lot and construction of a waterfront events center that will include a marina office, a restaurant/lounge and banquet space.