LONGPORT – Residents in this quiet hamlet could be in for a few sleepless nights as the borough embarks on a project that will ensure plenty of water during the high-use season starting in spring 2021.
A contractor will start drilling Well No. 4 at the Public Works complex at 31st and Devon avenues in Phase 2 of the borough’s multi-year project to upgrade its water distribution system.
According to engineer Richard Carter, the project will “put Longport in very good shape” for a long time.
“Those wells are old, they are starting to fail, and we’re spending a lot of money on maintenance,” Carter said.
Phase 1 of the project included obtaining permits from the NJDEP and Phase 3 of the project, which is slated for action at the Dec. 2 Board of Commissioners meeting, includes building a well house and Public Works office.
ARH Associates of Hammonton, the same company that performed design and construction management for the well installation, will be awarded a $59,750 contract to design and prepare documentation for the building, and $19,700 for construction management and administration of the building project.
A.C. Schultes, Inc. of Woodbury was awarded a $681,450 contract to construct the well at a depth of 800 feet. Work was scheduled to begin on Nov. 30 and be completed by Feb. 8, 2021., but pushed back a week due to weather. The new start date is Dec. 7, with completion by Feb. 27.
According to borough Administrator A. Scott Porter, the well-drilling project will be a seven-days-per-week operation, and there may be times when the contractor works until 11 p.m.
“There’s going to be some noise with this. Residents will be notified in advance when this occurs, so they are aware of what’s going on,” he said.
The commission approved a resolution waiving noise restrictions and hours of work limitations to allow work to be “continuous during the drilling and casing operation to avoid cave-ins and failures associated with well drilling activities.”
When the well drilling is completed, it will need to be flushed for 72 hours, at a rate of 1,200 gallons of water per minute, which could result in water on the roadway. An alternate method of flushing the well for 24 hours is being considered, Porter said.
Although Carter’s employment will end on Dec. 30, Porter and attorney Michael Affanato proposed that Carter continue to work on a limited basis for the well project and a few other projects already in the works.
The borough will also discuss either hiring an engineer to replace him or employ the use of an engineering firm moving into 2021. It was last year that the administrator sought proposals from individual engineers and engineering firms, however, Carter agreed to stay on for one more year.
“Dick has been very good to us,” Commissioner Dan Lawler said.
Carter, who was originally hired through an interlocal agreement with Ventnor, suggested the borough consider hiring a base company, and follow Ventnor and Margate’s policy of using a pre-approved list of engineers to bid on larger projects.
Commissioner Jim Leeds said proposals received last year should be updated.
“We have to be careful. Engineering can be very expensive,” he said.
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