SOMERVILLE, NJ - Work crews from Public Service Electric & Gas Company will be working on North and South Bridge streets to replace old gas pipelines with new piping.

Beginning within the next ten days, work will take place Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., weather permitting. The gas main replacement portion of the work is expected to be complete in May, according to PSE&G spokesperson Lindsey Puliti.

The PSE&G project will be one of two road construction projects that will cause minor delays and detours in the borough over the next several weeks.

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Unrelated to the PSE&G pipeline replacements is a pedestrian safety project that will close Veterans Memorial Drive West beginning April 10 to permit construction of raised surface center islands, crosswalk improvements and installation of a traffic signal. The project is expected to be completed within six weeks.

“PSE&G is doing important work to modernize the township’s gas infrastructure,” said Mayor Brian Gallagher. “Once it’s completed, the residents of Somerville will enjoy the benefits of continued safe and reliable gas service for many years to come. We appreciate the patience of our residents while PSE&G completes this work.”

PSE&G is committed to keeping customers in Somerville informed about where and when the work will take place. Residents will be notified when work begins in their area by mail, door hangers and social media. Customers can find more information, including a list of streets and video of how the work is performed at www.pseg.com/gaswork.

Residents can also call (732) 220-6207 for information or consult with the on-site supervisor, according to Puliti.

“These upgrades are part of PSE&G’s three-year program to replace 510 miles of aging gas infrastructure throughout New Jersey,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “After decades of being in the ground, old cast iron pipes can crack and unprotected steel may corrode. The new durable, plastic pipes will improve reliability, reduce the possibility of leaks, and ensure the continued safety of gas service for customers.” 

Before construction begins, the utility tests soil and digs test holes to verify the location of existing gas pipe. When this preliminary work is complete, PSE&G will begin installing the new gas lines, according to Puliti.

To upgrade the gas lines, PSE&G digs trenches, primarily in road surfaces, and lays new pipes block by block to minimize disruptions. There will be short-term road closures and detours during construction. Borough police will direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic. At the end of each workday, the trenches will be filled in and protective plates secured on any open areas so people can safely drive and walk. Customers always have access to their driveways, Puliti said.

When possible, the utility does not dig on properties. If PSE&G does have to dig on a customer’s property, the utility restores any disturbance after the service line is installed. Grass areas are repaired and seeded, and concrete or asphalt openings are patched until final restoration work is scheduled.

After construction, a PSE&G technician will need to access the customer’s home to connect the service line and gas meter to the new gas main. The utility will contact homeowners to arrange a date and time to do the work. During this reconnection, customers can expect to be without gas service for about 4 hours, according to Puliti.

If a gas meter is inside, PSE&G will relocate it to the outside of the customer’s home or business. A technician re-lights all appliances and makes sure they are working safely before leaving a home.

When work is finished, the utility will repair roads with temporary pavement until the ground settles. This takes about 45 to 90 days. PSE&G then restores the roads with permanent paving in accordance with town ordinance and paving requirements.

Visit PSE&G online at www.pseg.com.