TSG Replacing Valves for Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority
June 13, 2016
With an expertise in valve and water main replacement projects, The Shauger Group, Inc. (TSG) has currently undertaken work installing large gate valves for the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA)’s “Large Valve Replacement Project.” TSG will replace approximately thirty large valves in various locations of the JCMUA water distribution system.
Although TSG submitted the lowest responsible, responsive bid for the project on March 31, 2015, and received a notice of award on July 9, 2015, the notice to proceed (NTP) was not issued until March 15, 2016. The notice came nearly eight months after the contracts were in place, partly due to a recently-enacted Jersey City moratorium that restricts construction work each year between December 15 and March 15, and partly due to the long lead time required for the fabrication of the custom valves, including 16-inch, 20-inch, 24-inch, and 36-inch double disc gate valves, being used for this project.
CME Associates, the engineering/architectural consulting firm hired by the JCMUA for the project, worked closely with TSG to begin the necessary preparations that would allow work to commence as soon as possible after the issuance of the NTP. Time of completion for the project is 270 calendar days, with a projected end date of mid-December 2016.
The work to be performed will be funded in part through a loan with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT). TSG successfully completed two other recent NJDEP/NJEIT contracts, one for the installation of fire hydrants and various-sized gate valves throughout the City of East Orange, and another for a major storm sewer rehabilitation project for the Township of West Orange.
In order for excavation of test pits to begin, mark outs, road opening permits, traffic control plans, and work hours needed to be established, with the approval of the JCMUA and the City of Jersey City Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Further, prior to any excavation, CME needed to approve each location’s shoring design, which was to be provided by a certified engineer.
TSG submitted its initial project schedule, outlining details on the first eight out of 30 locations of work. TSG’s first four site locations are on Mallory Avenue at the intersections of Mallory and Union Street, Virginia Avenue, Culver Avenue, and Claremont Avenue. TSG will then move on to West Side Avenue, where it crosses with Carbon Place, Danforth Avenue, and Communipaw Avenue. Also in the first eight work sites is the intersection of McAdoo and Old Bergen.
At each location where a valve is being replaced, TSG performs test pits to expose the existing pipe; this allows TSG to obtain measurements so that custom couplings can be ordered for each valve. Once measurements have been taken, TSG completes a full excavation in preparation for valve installation, and, in accordance with the engineered design, protects it with timber shoring as required. TSG then confirms that the proposed pipe and valves are compatible, based on measurements and proximity to existing utilities—and ensures that the excavation is fully stabilized and protected. The area is then plated to await scheduling of the installation of that location’s valve.
On the dates of valve installation, TSG coordinates with the JCMUA and Suez Water (United Water) to begin preparing for a tie-in. Suez Water provides a shutdown of the main on which work is to be performed. Once an adequate shutdown is achieved, and it is deemed permissible by CME Associates and Suez Water to proceed, TSG then cuts the pipe and ties in the new valve, while six-inch and four-inch pumps remove the excess water into an approved location. TSG installs the new pipe, valves, and fittings, ensuring that all materials have been properly disinfected first and that all surrounding areas are protected from contamination. New materials are put into place in accordance with specifications and site drawings. This work is performed within a very narrow window of time that is strictly enforced. No later than 5:00 a.m. in the morning following an installation, Suez Water restores flow to the pipe section, making certain that the affected residents wake up to running water.
Before the main is put back into service, the pipe joints are analyzed for leakage and tightened as necessary.
After installation has concluded, TSG backfills, resets valve stems, checks operations, completes base paving to grade, and ultimately restores the site after final paving. Within 12 hours of final installation, chlorination tests are performed, and water samples are taken and analyzed for bacteria. All analytical reports are turned over to the JCMUA file.
During the course of the entire project, TSG will implement soil erosion and sediment control measures as necessary. TSG will implement all necessary traffic control measures for each specific construction zone: TSG will use all necessary signage for all four cardinal directions of the construction zone, and will utilize Jersey City police officers as required for traffic control.
Tony Moleiro, Site Work Foreman at TSG, will be responsible for the day-to-day work being performed by his crew. Tony has vast experience in underground utility work and was called upon to lead this project.
“The valves we are working with range from 2,000 to 12,000 pounds,” said Moleiro. “You have to know what you are doing and be ever mindful of job safety.”
“You really need an experienced foreman on a job this size,” said Mulligan. “Tony is faced with field decisions daily, and is someone with the knowledge to be able to handle making tough calls.”
TSG also relies on key project supervisors and administrative personnel to keep up-to-date with the paperwork requirements of jobs such as the present JCMUA large valve project.
“There is so much paperwork, particularly on an NJDEP project where there are stringent Socially and Economically Disadvantaged (SED) goal requirements calling for State-recognized SEDs to be awarded no less than ten percent of subcontracts,” said Clarence Sconiers, Project Supervisor for the JCMUA project. “Reports must be made monthly, though the good faith effort in hiring minority- and women-owned businesses is a daily task.”
Every day, our extensive responsibilities include posting no parking signs, securing permits for each area of work, posting notices to all affected residences, and notifying the fire department for fire watch during shutdowns.”
“The Shauger Group looks forward to working closely with the JCMUA on this project,” said Lisa Shauger, President/CEO of TSG. “It is always our pleasure to work on projects that serve the community and make improvements to the infrastructure necessary for people’s day-to-day lives. With a project of this size, the contributions of the many people involved ensure the project’s success—and reinforce The Shauger Group’s reputation as one of the leading contractors in our area for underground construction.”