Clarkdale Town Park restoration project underway
CLARKDALE – Freeport Minerals initiated the United Verde Soil Program (UVSP) to test soil at residential, commercial and public properties in areas of Clarkdale near the historical copper smelter.
The work is done under the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Voluntary Remediation Program using procedures and work plans approved by ADEQ.
Five of the Town of Clarkdale’s park sites are located within the Study Area of the UVSP, and four of the park sites had results that indicated exceedance levels for arsenic and/or lead and will require varying degrees of remediation depending on the specific areas within the park boundaries where exceedances were detected.
Based on the soil sampling results, the Clarkdale Town Park (located at 1001 Main Street) is categorized as a “Tier 1” property under ADEQ’s approved Remedial Action Work Plan, and Freeport has scheduled it as the first property to be remediated under the UVSP. Freeport is coordinating closely with the Town of Clarkdale to complete the remediation of the Town Park pursuant to the ADEQ-approved Remedial Action Work Plan, and to do so as quickly as possible to minimize disruption of the Park’s busy upcoming events season.
Fencing to secure the construction site at the Town Park was installed on February 28th, and allowed the Clarkdale Public Works Department to undertake several pre-remediation activities in preparation for the UVSP teams to move into the park next week.
The Town of Clarkdale had already budgeted to make upgrades to the Town Park, and are coordinating those with Freeport to occur either before, in conjunction with, or after Freeport’s remediation activities at the site.
Last week, the Town’s Public Works Department removed the deteriorating concrete slab in front of the Gazebo.
The Town will install a new slab in coordination with the park restoration. In addition, the Public Works Department removed 6 oleander shrubs and some dead stumps that had been previously slated for removal.
The oleanders will be replaced with new shrubs as part of the restoration project. Finally, the Town also budgeted to upgrade the electrical service in the park, and will plant additional trees to add shade in several areas.
While the town is undertaking these extra projects with their own funding, Freeport will conduct the soil replacement and landscape restoration at no cost to the town, just as it will for all properties participating in the UVSP.
There were several places in the park, including the sand in the playground area, that do not require remediation because the concentrations of metals in those locations were below ADEQ’s residential clean up levels.
However, the soil beneath the grass in the Town Park exceeds residential cleanup levels for arsenic and lead.
During the remediation process, Freeport will remove soil with metals above ADEQ cleanup levels, replace it with clean soil, and restore any displaced landscaping.
Grass areas will be restored with fresh sod (Tifway 419 Bermuda). Permanent structures such as concrete sidewalks, curbing, walls, light pedestals and the Town’s historic Clarkdale Gazebo will be left in place.
Freeport expects the entire Park remediation process to require approximately 10-12 weeks. Part of the 10-12 week estimate is 4-6 weeks to allow the new sod to establish before the Park is used.
The town hopes to have the park ready for use for some, if not all, of our scheduled June events. However, a final opening date will be selected subject to the construction schedule and to ensure that the new sod is fully established.
Once active construction activity begins, which is expected the week of March 19-23rd, sidewalk access around the park will be restricted. Signage will be posted to direct pedestrians to the numerous other sidewalk routes in and around the area.
There will be some parking restrictions around the Park to allow construction equipment to move on and off the site, but most parking is expected to remain available for the public throughout the project.
According to Town Manager Gayle Mabery, “The Town has been planning for the remediation of the Park for several years. When we first learned about the UVSP in 2015, we toured numerous locations in Bisbee, Arizona, to learn about their experience during their own soil remediation project. Bisbee officials showed us several projects where they took the opportunity to make upgrades to facilities that would have to undergo restoration, and we immediately thought of our Town Park. For the past several years, the Town Council has set aside some funds in the budget to pay for upgrades to the Park in the likely event it would qualify for soil remediation, and we’ll use those funds now as we coordinate with Freeport’s restoration work.”
To learn more about the United Verde Soil Program, visit the Town of Clarkdale’s website and follow the link on the main page. www.clarkdale.az.gov