Cranford water mains being replaced

CRANFORD, N.J. — New Jersey American Water will replace approximately 1,160 feet of aging water mains in the township this fall, upgrading the lines with larger, ductile iron main, the company announced.

This project began the week of Sept. 23 along Brookside Place from Gallows Hill Road to Orchard Street, and is intended to improve service reliability and increase water flows for household consumption and fire protection.

The $610,000 effort is part of NJAW’s multimillion-dollar infrastructure improvement in more than 100 municipalities statewide “that has reached the end of its useful life,” the company said in a Sept. 16 press release. A similar project has been ongoing on the north side of neighboring Garwood since August.

NJ American Water is a subsidiary of American Water, and is the largest and most geographically diverse investor-owned utility in the state, providing water and wastewater services to about 2.7 million people.

CRJ Contracting is performing the work and should be finished by the end of November, weather permitting, NJAW said in the release. Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Work outside of these hours is not anticipated unless required to maintain project schedule. Final street restorations will be completed in the spring of 2020, the company said. Traffic restrictions and alternating traffic patterns are likely during work hours. All emergency vehicles and local traffic will be allowed access during construction.

Cranford Fire Chief Dan Czeh stated that the replaced mains will greatly benefit firefighting and safety in Cranford and emphasized that while Cranford has not had an issue with water pressure, he considers this project an upgrade.

“When replacements are made, they are replacing older, undersized infrastructure,” the chief said in an email exchange with LocalSource on Sept. 17. “In most cases, the water company will replace this infrastructure with larger diameter infrastructure which will improve water pressure. This no doubt bolsters fire protection in areas that have lower water pressures.”

He added the mains being upgraded “no doubt have improved water pressure as they were being fed by a 12-inch main. They are upgrading to a 16-inch main.”

New Jersey American Water spokeswoman Chelsea Kulp said in a Sept. 18 email that the project is part of a continual effort of the company to upgrade its infrastructure.

“As part of this initiative, New Jersey American Water has invested $2.4 billion in system improvements since 2010,” she said. “We invested more than $330 million statewide to improve our water treatment and pipeline systems.”