Gas Main Project Will Not Start on LBI Side This Spring

Apr 10, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Due to a holdup on the Eagleswood Township side of a project to install a secondary natural gas distribution main from Dock Road in West Creek to West Alabama Avenue in Long Beach Township, work on Long Beach Island will not begin this spring, as New Jersey Natural Gas had originally planned.

A recent letter from NJNG to West Alabama Avenue homeowners explains, “As we stated during our presentation about the Horizontal Directional Drill project, NJNG and its contractors would not begin the work on the LBI side of the directional drill unless we were absolutely certain that we would be completed and off West Alabama by the end of June. We have encountered some delays on the Eagleswood side of the project and therefore have decided that we will postpone the work until after the summer season.”

As The SandPaper reported last month, NJNG supervising engineer Joe Puglisi attended an Eagleswood committee meeting March 25 to report that a pipe – a drill pipe, not a gas-carrying pipe – was stuck in the ground, and had held up the work for several weeks.

When the project does ultimately reach completion, an approximately 14,700-foot, directionally drilled 12-inch main will run 2.72 miles under Little Egg Harbor and connect to West Alabama (99th Street) in the Beach Haven Park section of Long Beach Township – or, perhaps, elsewhere on the Island. As the letter to homeowners on that street also noted, “We are going to use the time to evaluate the LBI side of the drill and will be back in touch once our plans have been finalized.”

According to township officials, NJNG is reevaluating the LBI connection point, and may shift it away from 99th Street. This would certainly please the residents there, who have expressed their displeasure about the disruption the work will bring to their neighborhood, and suggested the utility connect the main to a street with fewer homes.

The project, as the utility explained, is part of NJNG’s New Jersey Reinvestment in System Enhancements (NJ RISE) program, a five-year, $102.5 million infrastructure investment. “The storm-hardening and mitigation projects under NJ RISE will help minimize the impacts of extreme weather events such as the unprecedented damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, improve NJNG’s service disruption response and strengthen its natural gas distribution system,” the utility pointed out. “In addition, NJ RISE supports New Jersey’s directive for improved energy resiliency and preparedness.”

NJ RISE is comprised of six projects, including this “Long Beach Island Reinforcement.” As NJNJG explained, “With the addition of a secondary feed consisting of approximately three miles of new 12-inch diameter steel distribution main under Little Egg Harbor, we will improve the reliability and integrity of the existing system while aiding future restoration efforts by providing redundancy to Long Beach Island and the approximately 10,000 customers we serve there.

“It will also serve as a secondary back feed into Eagleswood Township and municipalities further south.”

Juliet Kaszas-Hoch

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