New Jersey’s largest investor-owned water utility has been working to advance its infrastructure across the state as part of a multimillion-dollar initiative that most recently saw updates begin in towns like Lakewood, Palmyra and Somers Point. And in two consecutive days it announced its next two targets.
On Wednesday and Thursday, New Jersey American Water said its latest efforts would see an investment of $1.2 million in Oceanport and $800,000 in Allenhurst.
In Oceanport, approximately 4,000 feet of 6-inch water main will be replaced beginning next week, with the lines – installed in the 1970s – upgraded to new, 6- and 8-inch PVC main along Gooseneck Point Road from Blackberry Bay Drive eastbound to the dead end, and along the entire length of Blackberry Bay Drive and Shore Road.
The project, which Perna Finnigan Inc. expects to begin on Nov. 2 and complete by the end of Janaury, will also see the replacement of five fire hydrants and 44 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route. New Jersey American Water said final street restorations will be completed in spring 2021.
Also beginning on or about Nov. 2, Allenhurst will see work commence to replace about 2,300 feet of water main, two fire hydrants and 46 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route.
J.F. Kiely Construction Co. will upgrade 4-inch water lines with 8-inch ductile iron main along Ocean Place from Spier Avenue to Allen Avenue, and Allen Avenue from Page Avenue to Ocean Place. The contractor expects to finish by the end of December, New Jersey American Water said, with final street restorations also expected for spring 2021.
The Allenhurst news came the same day the Camden-based provider announced the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved changes to its base water and wastewater rates.
The rate request, filed Dec. 16, 2019, was driven by New Jersey American Water’s more than $1 billion investment in infrastructure for treatment system and distribution upgrades since the last rate case, the utility said in a press release.
The NJBPU also approved a credit that will see a pass-back of $32.5 million to customers over the next 10 months of excess accumulated deferred income taxes associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. According to New Jersey American Water, this will offset the uptick in the base rate through Aug. 31, 2021.
“We are proud of the level of investment we are able to make into our systems to continue to provide high-quality service, while keeping efficiencies up and costs down to balance the impact to customers,” New Jersey American Water President Cheryl Norton said in a prepared statement. “The combination of good capital planning and sound business management on our part helps keep water and wastewater service both reliable and affordable for the 2.8 million people who count on us.”