• March 31, 2020

Bay Ave. work will affect traffic ‘til Memorial Day - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Bay Ave. work will affect traffic ‘til Memorial Day

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:16 pm

OCEAN CITY – A $6.7 million wastewater force main replacement project along Bay Avenue will temporarily impact traffic, according to Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA) Chief Engineer Thomas LaRocco.

The CMCMUA project involves installing new PVC pipe from 31st Street and Haven Avenue to south of Eighth Street and Bay Avenue. The CMCMUA will replace and rehabilitate the force mains that carry wastewater to the treatment plant on the bay at 45th Street. 

The project’s contractor, Lafayette Utility Construction, began replacing PVC pipes across Ninth Street on Monday, March 9. 

LaRocco said the work would close four blocks, from Ninth to 13th streets. Those streets will be open to local traffic only until the end of March. 

“This involves excavation, you’ll see some very big backhoes out there, removal of the material that’s in the ground, installing new PVC pipe and back-filling with stone and densely graded aggregate (DGA) that’s backfilled on the new PVC pipe and then temporary paving on top,” LaRocco said. 

In October 2000, the 20-inch force main at 31st Street and Bay Avenue experienced a failure, while in August 2017 the 20-inch ductile iron force main failed at the 2500 block of Bay Ave. 

Both failures were of the same nature and required emergency repair.

The CMCMUA operates and maintains two force mains – a 12-inch and 20-inch ductile iron pipe – that run from pump stations on Third and 32nd streets. 

“We’ve had two pipe breaks since the year 2000,” LaRocco said, adding the existing pipes are 30 years old. 

LaRocco said the problem is hydraulics.

“The pipe has high spots which provide areas where air bubbles can form and the interior of the pipe is susceptible to corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide,” LaRocco said.

Work includes replacing 20-inch ductile iron force main with a 20-inch PVC force main, and slip-lining existing 20-inch ductile iron force main with a 16-inch high-density polyethylene (HPE) pipe. 

LaRocco said pipe work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day and Bay Avenue covered with temporary paving. 

 “If you’ve been on Bay Avenue you’ll see it’s been very rough. The reason for that is you don’t permanent pave right away because the trench has a tendency to settle,” LaRocco said. “Per county road requirements we have to wait a period of time before we can permanent pave and that permanent paving will be done in the fall after Labor Day.”

He said the entire project should be completed by late November.

When completed, three pipes will exist: the existing 12-inch ductile iron, a new 16-inch HDPE pipe and the new PVC pipe. 

“As the contractor has been progressing along Bay Avenue, segments of Bay Avenue have been closed except for local traffic. This has been going on since the pipe work has progressed,” LaRocco said. “Next week will be a little challenging as we’re crossing Ninth Street,” he said last week. “It will remain open but they’ll be some restrictions on turning onto Bay Avenue while the work is being done during the day.”

In a March 6 statement, Mayor Jay Gillian advised motorists to use West Avenue for north-south travel and for access to and from the Ninth Street Bridge. 

“One lane of traffic in each direction on Ninth Street will remain open at all times,” Gillian said, adding the work at the intersection of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue was expected to be completed by Friday, March 13.

LaRocca said project updates are available on the city’s website, www.ocnj.us.

“At the end of the day it’s in the public’s best interest. I know it’s something they don’t see or understand while the work is going on in front of their own houses, but the conveyance of wastewater is something that nobody appreciates until it’s not there. This is something that we have to do in the interests of the public. It’s a public health issue,” LaRocco said.


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