Delaware & Raritan Canal Dredging Project Set To Begin In November

The red line indicates the area of the D&R Canal to be dredged by NJWSA. Graphic: New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

The long-delayed and controversial plan to dredge a 10-mile stretch of the D&R Canal in the township is set to begin in November, according to information from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

Delays to the $52 million project, which was initially slated to begin in 2014, have forced a doubling of the cost to NJWSA customers, according to the company.

The project will remove an estimated 248,000 cubic yards of sediment from the canal between Route 27 in Kingston and Amwell Road in East Millstone. The sediment will be piped to what’s called a “de-watering” site along the canal before it is trucked to another site for further drying and disposal.

“The D&R Canal is a source of drinking water for millions of residents in central New Jersey and provides various recreational opportunities. The design of the project will take into account surrounding cultural and natural resources and address water supply needs of the area,” according to a post on the township’s web site.

Initial work in November will involve tree cutting and other site preparation tasks, according to the company. Actual dredging is expected to start in the summer of 2018, according to the project’s web site.

The project is expected to take four years, with dredging operations expected to take place during three consecutive years, according to the web site.

The dredge will float along the canal, sucking up sediment and transporting it through an attached tube to property at 1391 Canal Road.

The project will also result in the intermittent closing of different parts of the towpath, according to the company.

The project drew the ire of Griggstown residents, who raised concerns about staging areas for the dredging operations and the prevalence of heavy trucks with the noise and pollution issues they bring.

NJWSA original estimated the yearly cost to its customers to pay for the project would be $3.65. But the delay in starting resulted in a nearly doubling of the payoff costs, resulting in a yearly per-customer charge now of $7, according to the company.

The company also announced that one of the five staging areas had changed. Reacting to public outcry over the original location of the staging area at Canal and Coppermine roads, NJWSA changed it to property owned by the Canal State Park, located south of the intersection of Canal Road and the Griggstown Causeway.

The project’s Environmental Information Document will be on display starting May 4 at the township Municipal Building, 475 DeMott Lane, the Township Library, 485 DeMott Lane, and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority Administration Building, 1851 State Route 31, Clinton.

Written comments will be accepted through June 5 and can be submitted to either info@njwa.org or Marc Brooks, PE, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, 1851 State Route 31, P.O. Box 5196, Clinton, NJ 08809.


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