No Lake For You: Braddock Park Lake Totally Shut Off At Summer's Peak

At the worst time of summer, when residents need to step out and have a place to catch a breeze, ongoing county renovations have forced the closure of the entire walkway around the lake in North Bergen’s James J. Braddock Park.

Except that wasn’t the plan, when county officials announced the multi-million dollar Woodcliff Lake Renovation Project back in February. Back then, county officials assured the community that the renovation of the walkway would be done in two phases. (Look at the color-coded map.)

But now, the entire walkway is fenced off.

The lake usually attracts walkers, joggers and plenty of people sitting on benches, at almost all hours (the park officially closes at 10 pm) and virtually year round except in the worst weather. Not this year, however. There is no access to the lake, the entire walkway is fenced off, and even surrounding pathways seem empty as the park is no longer a destination for outdoor recreation.

One possible reason for the turnoff? It could be what’s inside the fence. Fetid water, and an increasingly stale stench from what used to be the lake bed.

The lake used to be home to geese and trout, usually restocked each winter.

Now, it’s just the home to weeds.