DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to replace a failed salt storage shed within the Chado Farm maintenance complex in Walpack Township on the New Jersey side of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Project planning will continue through the fall of 2023, with construction tentatively occurring from April to October 2024, if funding is available.
The park intends to replace an existing salt storage shed with a safe, effective salt storage facility that prevents environmental impacts at the Chado Farm maintenance complex. The current salt storage shed is in poor condition and was removed from service in 2016 because of operational issues, lack of storage capacity, and environmental damage due to salt runoff.
The salt shed is too small and structurally unsound to be modified so that it can be brought back into service, therefore the park proposes to build a new, larger building just to the northeast of the existing salt shed.
“Since the existing salt storage shed was removed from service, our road crews in New Jersey must return to the Pennsylvania salt storage facility during snow events in empty, unloaded plow trucks- a distance of up to 33 miles or a 1-hour drive from the most distant snow clearing routes in NJ,” explained Bill Tagye, Chief of Facility Management at the park. After reloading salt into the truck, the plow driver returns on the same route, resulting in a round trip total of nearly 2 ½ hours. According to Tagye, “replacing the Chado Farm salt storage shed would reduce travel distances, staff time, fuel costs, and natural resource impacts while increasing efficiency, response time, and safety including access for residents.”
The NPS explored three possible options to replace the existing salt storage shed at Chado Farm, including (1) retrofitting the existing salt shed, (2) retrofitting the existing Lower Barn for salt storage, and (3) constructing a new salt storage building. The third option was chosen because it best meets project goals which include improving safety of salt loading and snow plowing operations; minimizing natural resource and visitor experience impacts; improving efficiency of park operations, while also providing the greatest levels of resiliency and sustainability and the lowest maintenance costs.
Under the National Historic Preservation Act, demolition of the defunct storage shed would be an “Adverse Effect” to the Chado Farm complex, which is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. To mitigate for the adverse effect to historic resources, the NPS has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office that states the conditions under which the park could remove the shed and build the new storage facility, including thorough documentation of the salt shed, the Upper Chado Barn, and the Lower Chado Barn.
Documentation of the three structures will capture the existing conditions of all three buildings, including their interiors, exteriors, and settings within the landscape and short written historical reports for each resource. Documentation will also include laser three-dimensional (3D) historic structure scanning for the Upper and Lower Chado Barns.
The public can review the designs for the new facility and the MOA with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office online during a 30-day review period from November 7 to December 6, 2022, at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/DEWA_Salt_Storage_Facility.