NEWARK, NJ — The City Council on Tuesday authorized more than $78 million to extend emergency contracts on the lead line replacement project.

The funds were allotted to Roman E&G Corporation and Montana Construction Corporation, both for $39 million.

The emergency contracts were extended to continue the accelerated replacement of lead service lines. The contract period extension is from Dec. 19, 2019 to June 24, 2020.

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By the city's count, the Newark Lead Service Line Replacement Program has reached just over 20% completion with 3,675 lead service lines replaced. The city plans to replace all 18,000 lead service lines serving residents in Newark over two years. The emergency contract covers 10,000 lead line replacements. 

Earlier last month, the City Council approved two contracts to Roman E&G Corporation and the Linden-based Underground Utilities Corporation, which amounted to nearly $4 million and a $3.5 million bid, respectively. The money for these contracts came from part of a $75 million loan the city secured in 2018 from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. That loan was intended to pay for the city’s lead service line replacement program before Newark secured a $120 million loan from Essex County to speed up the timing of the project. 

With $78 million of the $120 million loan awarded to the emergency contracts, the remaining funds will cover future contracts to replace remaining lead service lines.