CHATHAM, NJ - There is a light at the end of the tunnel in relation to the bumpy ride on Lafayette Avenue that Chatham residents have endured since February.

The smoothing over of the pavement on Lafayette Avenue from Southern Boulevard to Shunpike Road is scheduled for mid-August, according to township officials.

The uneven ride on Lafayette Avenue was created by the replacement of nearly 5,500 feet of outdated water main pipe by NJ American Water, which began during the Chatham School District's February break. 

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"Following the installation's completion on time in late April, it was necessary to allow the water main to settle into the new trench under a temporary surface before final milling and paving," Chatham Township Deputy Mayor Karen Swartz said. "We anticipate the final milling and paving to begin as early as two weeks from now. 

"Homeowners who are directly impacted will be receiving notices the night before the stretch immediately in front of their homes will be paved, allowing them a heads-up to move their cars even the night before.  Residents who must park on a neighboring street overnight will not be ticketed."

On Thursday afternoon, project managers from NJ American Water; Chatham Township Engineer John Ruschke; Township DPW Director Richard Young; Township Administrator Thomas Ciccarone and Swartz gathered in front of Lafayette School to review and confirm the milling and paving details.

"I've been in close contact with NJAW throughout the project and they have responded promptly to every one of our neighbors' concerns brought to our attention," Swartz said. "We're grateful for the patience of our residents who have been inconvenienced, but we all know our service will be improved as a result."