McGuire Gardens Housing Complex

The McGuire Gardens Housing Complex is a low-income, multi-family unit housing development located in the City of Camden that is owned and operated by the Camden Housing Authority.  The Camden Housing Authority received financial assistance from the Housing and Urban Development Authority under the Hope IV Program for a site-wide redevelopment of the 22-acre property.  Soon after the project was initiated, however, suspect contaminated Historic Fill was encountered.  Because the scope of the site-wide redevelopment project included demolition of existing structures, construction of new housing units, and realignment of streets and sub-grade utilities, the potential for contaminated soil posed significant concerns regarding the current and future residential use of the property.

In 1995, the project architects retained Excel Environmental Resources, Inc. (Excel) to delineate the extent of the Historic Fill.  Utilizing innovative investigation techniques, Excel completed an expedited investigation and developed a remediation plan that utilized the new multi-family dwellings, asphalt-paved parking lots and streets, concrete sidewalks, and landscaped areas as Engineering Controls, along with a Deed Notice, thus enabling residential use of the 22-acre Site without impacting the construction budget.

Project Overview

  • Excel was retained by the project architects, The Sheward Partnership, to conduct a focused Site Investigation (SI) on an expedited schedule to verify soil quality at the Site and define the extent of any contaminated Historic Fill without interfering with the construction schedule.
  • Excel designed a soil boring and sampling program using historic geotechnical boring logs to minimize the number of additional borings necessary to satisfy NJDEP requirements for investigation of Historic Fill.
  • Excel determined that the contaminated Historic Fill extended across the 22-acre Site.  Since it was consistent in composition and analytical quality, visual characterization was used to confirm the vertical extent of the fill thus saving time and limiting the drilling and laboratory analytical costs associated with the Remedial Investigation (RI).
  • After lateral and vertical delineation was completed, Excel was retained by the construction contractor, Michaels Development Corporation, to prepare and implement an effective and cost-efficient Remedial Action Workplan (RAW) to allow residential use of the property without removing the sub-grade contaminated soil.
  • All excavated Historic Fill was reused onsite as sub-grade fill under one or more of the new construction elements and there was no offsite disposal of contaminated soil required thus saving the project hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation and disposal costs.
  • The RAW fully integrated the remediation into the Hope IV Revitalization Design by utilizing the new and existing construction elements (i.e. buildings, asphalt pavement, concrete sidewalks, landscaped areas, etc.) as Engineering Controls to effectively cap the 22 acres of contaminated Historic Fill.
  • Instead of providing an onsite Construction Manager during the entire two-year project, Excel trained Michaels Development Corporation’s OSHA-certified supervisor and work crew to properly handle and manage the excavated Historic Fill thus significantly reducing the cost of environmental compliance.

Key Components of Excel’s Work Scope

  • Prepared a SI and RI work scope designed to effectively and cost-efficiently verify soil quality and complete lateral and vertical delineation of the contaminated Historic Fill across the 22-acre Site on an expedited basis.
  • Visually characterized the Historic Fill to complete vertical delineation thus saving time and money by reducing the number of soil samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Reused all excavated contaminated soil as sub-grade fill in lieu of offsite transportation and disposal thus saving the project hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation and disposal costs.
  • Utilized the new and exiting multi-unit residential dwellings, buildings, asphalt-paved parking lots and streets, landscaped areas, etc. as Engineering Controls with a site-wide Deed Notice as the final remediation for soil at the Site.
  • Trained the construction crews and provided overall Project Management to ensure strict adherence to the remediation work scope and schedule resulting in completion of the redevelopment project on schedule and within budget.

Primary Environmental Services Provided by Excel

  • Site and Remedial Investigation
  • Integrated Remediation into Redevelopment Plans
  • Engineering and Institutional Controls
  • Remedial Action Workplan
  • Soil Reuse Plan
  • Agency Negotiations and Coordination
  • Remediation Training and Construction Management
  • Overall Project Management
  • Preparation of Project Documents, including Workplans and Reports