The Shauger Group to Do Citywide Water System Improvements in East Orange
March 24, 2014
With spring already here, one of The Shauger Group, Inc.’s (TSG’s) newest projects has just gotten underway. The sizeable job consists of major water system improvements (Phase 1) throughout the City of East Orange—a massive undertaking to replace and install roughly 4,615 linear feet of water main and approximately 407 units of fire hydrants.
In its bid specifications, the East Orange Water Commission listed the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) as its expected sources of funding for the job. The project, which began on March 10, 2014, is scheduled to be completed by October 30, 2014.
“Given the days to complete the project—240 days—we will have a minimum of three hydrant crews working through the duration of the contract,” explained Matthew Mulligan, Vice President of Operations.
TSG will work closely with the consulting engineers, Boswell Engineering, throughout the process. TSG and Boswell Engineering worked together on a similar project for the East Orange Water Commission, which was also funded by the NJDEP and NJEIT, in 2010.
The location of every section of water main determines the size of the ductile iron pipe that will be used. Pipes to be installed in various locations of the City will range from those with a four-inch diameter to those with a six- and eight-inch diameter.
A mark-out is always performed first to identify existing utilities. Then, step-by-step work involved in the replacement of existing water main lines includes sawing, excavating, installing pipes, backfilling, and compacting, as well as installing foundation material, fittings, valves, hydrant assemblies, wet taps, and other associated items. Hydrants will be assembled on a four-square-foot concrete base. Consistent with their purpose, the hydrants will be placed in the most logical, safe, and convenient locations to ensure total accessibility. At the same time, the positioning of the hydrants will reduce the potential of damage from vehicles and the likelihood of injury to pedestrians.
Where applicable, service lines will be installed and connected from the new water main to each existing homeowner.
The bid opening for the water improvement project was held on November 26, 2013, and TSG’s bid of $3,887,950.50 was determined to be the lowest, by less than a two-percent margin. The contract was approved on January 28, 2014 at a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
The East Orange Water Commission, Boswell Engineering, NJDEP, and TSG participated in a pre-construction meeting on February 24, 2014. At the meeting, which also served as the project’s official Notice to Proceed, the parties discussed guidelines, scope of work, schedules, compliance issues, and other aspects of the impending project prior to the project’s start date.
Because age and use eventually can render hydrants ineffective, new hydrants are being put in place so that new, state-of-the-art hydrants and parts can take the place of those that have older and more obsolete parts and valves. TSG is operating under the discretion of the East Orange Water Commission as to the order in which it will approach the replacement throughout the city. The first priority is to replace the existing hydrants that are currently out-of-service. Then, the replacement of existing in-service hydrants will be performed. If and where directed by the East Orange Water Commission, non-breakaway hydrants will then be addressed.
With residents’ convenience always in mind, TSG always will try to maintain continuous operation of existing water main without disruptions in operation and service. When necessary, temporary support will be provided to existing utilities, such as storm, gas, water, sanitary, and electric, and will be coordinated with the utility company to ensure sufficient protection.
“Foreman Tony Moleiro will oversee all three crews for the duration of the project,” noted Mulligan. “Tony is one of our most experienced underground utility foremen.”
Moleiro has been doing work in the City of East Orange for many years and has extensive experience and knowledge of the City’s underground infrastructure. Moleiro will be responsible for overseeing all crews. He will ensure that all work is being performed within the guidelines set forth by the plans and specifications, as well as that all productivity standards set by TSG are met.
Restoration to Previous Conditions
To ensure that conditions post-construction match those pre-construction, before-and-after video footage and still photos of work sites will be taken by TSG. TSG will use these as a means of documenting the existing state, including any defects, of any unusual construction areas, street crossings, paved driveway crossings, curbs, and lawns.
Control, Disposal, and Environmental Protection
Erosion control measures to be taken include obtaining any necessary permits; having inspections by Soil Conservation; and carrying out other protective measures, such as using dikes, drains, diversion channels, bales of hay, silt fences, and sedimentation basins. The erosion, whether it transpires as a result of surface drainage or some other means, will be controlled from the beginning of construction until the completion of the project.
TSG will maintain cleanliness of the streets. Work is being performed by providing Mechanical Street Sweeping at the conclusion of each work day when conditions require. TSG has a full fleet of state-of-the-art mechanical and regenerative air sweepers with water spray systems to perform this service.
As always, it is a priority for TSG to maintain safe and clean work areas and environments. All aspects of the site will be cleaned up on a daily basis. Trash and waste will be removed regularly. Excess excavated material will be disposed of at pre-approved offsite locations and with proper certifications, if necessary.
Mindfulness of Community
Whenever possible, TSG will make every attempt to keep noise at a minimum during construction operations.
TSG will maintain traffic control by utilizing the City of East Orange Police Department and TSG employees certified in flagging and mobile traffic operations. Roadway and traffic lane closures will be done in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) guidelines, which include the use of required signage, cones, barrels, and breakaway barricades. Prior to construction, notification of parking restrictions and road closures will be given to all residents affected.