BELMAR, NJ — The prolonged wait to bring new lights to the northern end of Main Street in Belmar may soon be over.

Crews from Valiant Power Group of Branchburg began working on January 14 along the downtown’s main thoroughfare between Fifth and 10th Avenues to erect taller utility poles that will ensure the new street lighting fixtures will not interfere with existing overhead wiring — the issue that has been holding up the state-funded project since December 2017.

During this final phase of the project, which is expected to take about a month, Main Street businesses and residences in that five-block area will experience a brief loss of electric service when the project reaches their location.

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According to Belmar Fire Marshal Ryan Dullea, all affected properties will receive 48-hour notification before the electric service is turned off for a period that is not expected to last more than several hours.

Any affected business owners or residents who plan on using a power generator during the power interruption are asked to contact Dullea’s office to schedule a site safety inspection. His office can be reached at 732-681-3700, ext. 239, or firemarshal@belmar.com.

Attached herepdf is a flier on generator safety tips provided by the fire marshal’s office.

In early 2018, several major components of the project were completed, including the underground electrical infrastructure, installation of the decorative lighting fixtures and new paver sidewalks that were placed along Main Street from Eighth Avenue north to the Route 71 bridge.

However, work came to a halt when the poles vs. wiring issue surfaced, and borough and Jersey Central Power & Light officials spent the next year in talks to resolve the issue.

Turning on the lights is the final phase of the project, which is being funded through a $972,000 Streetscape grant from the N.J. Economic Development Authority — as part of the state’s continued assistance to communities hit hard during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The grant program is funded through the New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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