Groundbreaking for new amphitheater, comfort station at Riverside Park is Tuesday in NA

An artist’s rendering of the new amphitheater to be built in Riverside County Park, North Arlington. Photo courtesy of Derek Sands

The renaissance in Bergen County’s park system continues locally as ground will be broken in Riverside County Park in North Arlington for a new amphitheater and comfort station at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26. Bergen County officials are expected to be on hand for the groundbreaking, most notably Commissioner Steve Tanelli, of North Arlington.

Here’s a look at what is to be built in the North Arlington portion of the park.

Derek Sands, the director of communications for Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III, says park-goers should expect unique additions, unlike anything heretofore seen.

“The Riverside comfort station and amphitheater, located in the southern end of the park, will serve as a focal gathering space, provide bathroom facilities and act as a community performance area,” he said. ‘The project is part of a larger effort to revitalize Riverside County Park. The $2.8 million project is funded by grants from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund as well as Bergen County Parks Capital Plan funding.”

The addition of the amphitheater will allow for more events at the park — and will make the summer concert series the borough puts on each summer much easier, cheaper and more convenient.

“As the county continues increase programming each year in Riverside for the enjoyment of south Bergen residents, it is important to note that we will no longer need to utilize a mobile show stage,” Sands said.

Sands says the new grass-tiered amphitheater will be constructed using the natural grade of the site to host families of all sizes and abilities. Each portion of the amphitheater will be accessible for those in need while also providing a variety of seating options from grass lawns, concrete seating and wood platforms so all patrons may can use a gathering area that suites their specific needs.

The comfort station will also better serve athletic community and park visitors. Whether someone is there for soccer, football, tennis or just a walk around the track, the new facility’s central location will provide convenience and accessibility for all visiting Riverside South.

An artist’s rendering of the new comfort station to be built in Riverside County Park, North Arlington. Photo courtesy of Derek Sands

The additions to the park will be paid for with a Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund grant from 2018 for $887,583 and Bergen County Department of Parks Capital Plan funding totaling $1,997,417.

The contractor, Daskal, LLC, was chosen in May by the Bergen County Board of Commissioners. Work on the project began July 12, 2021, and is slated for completion in the spring of 2022, at a total cost of $2.89 million, Sands said.

The professional team is LAN Associates of Midland Park, led by Matt Fink and MKW and Associates (of Rutherford, led by Jim Welsh. The design of the new park amenities started in August 2019 with the Department of Parks soliciting a proposal from the design team to concoct a new outdoor performance area and restroom comfort station as well as a new Parks Department maintenance and equipment facility.

The Department of Parks adopted a proposal from the LiRo Group, Inc., to manage the construction contractor and to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.

Tanelli, meanwhile, who was instrumental in the project coming to fruition, says he’s very pleased.

“The first-ever Bergen County Parks Master Plan in our county’s history that I championed showed South Bergen was underserved in terms of open space and parkland,” Tanelli, the chairman of the BCBOC, said. “The upcoming groundbreaking of the comfort station and amphitheater reaffirms our commitment to taking tangible steps to bridge that gap and is part of a larger effort to completely modernize Riverside County Park. As the only commissioner from South Bergen, I will always strive to help provide the same recreation and open space opportunities that other areas of the county enjoy.”

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