Little Rocky Hill Water Main Project Contract Awarded

Township Councilman Ted Chase has been advocating for the water main repair for years.

Residents along Route 27 in Little Rocky Hill should finally be able to take a proper shower by the end of the summer.

And, more importantly, fire hydrants in that area will work.

That’s because the Township Council at its May 8 meeting awarded a $5.6 million contract to Basking Ridge-based Dewcon, Inc. to re-line a stretch of water main there.

The problem of aging infrastructure has existed for years, resulting in water pressure at about one-third the usual rate being pushed through the line. As a result, some residents whose bathrooms are on the second story of their home had weak water pressure, and fire hydrants were not usable.

The water pressure in that line should be about 75 pounds per square inch (PSI), said Township Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1). Currently, water in that main is pressurized at about 20PSI, he said.

The council originally wanted to just replace the roughly 3-mile stretch of water main, a move that would have been less costly, Chase said. But that idea was nixed when the state Department of Transportation required the township to repave the entirety of Route 27 in the construction area, even though only a section along the shoulder would have been dug up.

“Then we learned of this possibility of relining the pipe, which requires digging in about every 750 feet,” Chase said. “Even then we had trouble with DOT, then we met with the acting commissioner who overruled the lower-level person who said no, you can’t do that.”

“This is more expensive than replacing the line entirely, but it was a compromise with the DOT, because it’s a state highway,” he said.

This work will also allow for the installation of fire hydrants along a stretch of Route 518, Chase said.

Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said he hopes the project is completed by the end of summer.

“Within two weeks we have a pre-construction meeting with the company, we begin the staging process probably two weeks after that, give or take,” he said. “The first part of the project is to install the bypass in the first section of the pipe that will be worked on, obviously we’ll have to shut down certain things that bypass the main so that we can work inside the main.”

“Once actual work begins, I’d like to have it done in 90 days,” he said. “I think we’re shooting for 90 days. I’d like to see if we can have the water main project done by the end of the summer.”


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