SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Residents who have experienced power outages in the Newstead section of town could see relief from the outages in the future.

PSE&G is proposing to install enclosures along the power distribution line that would detect faults in the power supply as part of a $1.5 million project to upgrade its infrastructure.

The enclosures are proposed to be installed on Wyoming Avenue, Tilou Avenue and Mayhew Drive to decrease the number of power outages that hit the area for long periods of time. The neighborhood has experienced an above average number of power outages this year because of faults along the power distribution line, according to South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.

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“This is the first step of many,” said Collum during a recent South Orange Board of Trustees meeting.

“There were 12 power outages in a matter of weeks,” Collum said referring to outages that occurred earlier this year.

In order to make these upgrades, PSE&G would have to gain access to the infrastructure on residents’ properties, mainly in their backyards. About 1,000 residents are served by the power distribution line in Newstead, according to PSE&G Regional Public Affairs Manager Joseph McQueen.

PSE&G and village officials will be meeting with village residents before the project begins. Their first meeting with residents is scheduled for Oct. 3 to inform them about the project in more detail.

“We want to do everything to make sure the upgrades don’t prohibit or change the character of the community,” McQueen said.