SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Village officials are waiting for approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection before they can go out to bid to replace a water main on Scotland Road and upgrade gas lamps in the neighborhood.
Funding is in place for the project, which will cost approximately $4 million. The Village’s Board of Trustees approved a $700,000 bond ordinance this week and approved $3,292,500 in bond money for the project in April. Scotland Road is an Essex County road and main thoroughfare in town.
Now the state DEP Infrastructure Bank needs to approve funding to replace water pipes in Newark amid the city’s recent water crisis before it can give South Orange the green light to proceed with its Scotland Road Water Main Replacement project, according to Village Water Utility Administrator Howard Levison. The main on Scotland Road that will be replaced runs from Randolph Place to South Orange Avenue.
The project is being completed to comply with the state’s Water Accountability Act, which went into effect in 2017 to help municipalities and water companies better maintain and operate their public water systems. The act requires municipalities, water companies and any other entity to put a plan in place for repairing and replacing water mains every 150 years or sooner if they are in bad condition.
“It’s a significant supply main for that area,” Levison said, noting that the main serves residential homes along that stretch of Scotland Road as well as homes on side streets in the neighborhood. “Over time, they get build up in them and they develop breaks. Over time, you need to replace them.”
About 60 homes are connected to the water main. He said the cast-iron main which currently exists on Scotland Road was built around 1892. The new main will be made of steel.
Other improvements that will occur as part of the project include new gas lamps, new trees and new curbs along Scotland Road from Randolph Place to South Orange Avenue. The new gas lamps will have LED lighting and their style will look like the lights along the S Curves on South Orange Avenue, Levison said. The fire hydrants and water valves will also be tested, and the valve boxes will be replaced.
After the project is completed, Essex County will repave Scotland Road, which was originally slated for last year but has been postponed until the water main replacement project is completed.
The main replacement project is expected to begin in Spring 2020, according to Levison.