PSE&G will continue natural gas line replacement project in Princeton

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There may be some sleepless nights in store for residents along sections of Nassau Street and Princeton-Kingston Road, east of Harrison Street, as PSE&G prepares to start on the next phase of its natural gas line replacement project in Princeton later this month.

The project, which stretches between Harrison Street and Poe Road, will begin at the end of August and should take about six to eight weeks to complete, PSE&G project manager Kelley Sutter Roi told Princeton Council members on Aug. 5.

Work will take place around the clock – day and night, Roi said.

The project calls for replacing the aging cast iron natural gas mains with plastic or coated steel pipes, Roi said. It is part of an overall natural gas main replacement project statewide that will remove the cast iron mains and replace them with new ones.

Work crews dig trenches in the road and remove the old mains. New mains are installed. The work is done on a block-by-block basis to minimize disruptions. The trenches are filled in at the end of the day and protective plates are installed on top.

As the work crews remove the old mains and install new ones, natural gas service connections to the affected homes along the route will be replaced. If the gas meter is in a house, it will be moved outside. Property owners or a representative must be available to let the PSE&G employee into a house to re-light gas appliances, on an appointment basis.

Roi told council members the natural gas mains would be removed and installed at night because it takes more time. The gas main work will take place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., while the service line and meter replacement work will be done between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

When Mayor Liz Lempert asked if the would be noisy, Roi acknowledged that residents will hear noise. The crews have to break up the road and pull out the old natural gas main and then install a new one, Roi said.

“We understand and appreciate what people have been going through,” Roi said.

Similar work has already been completed in other parts of Princeton.

Councilman Tim Quinn asked about notification and said that there are a lot of concerns.

“People need to get their sleep,” he added.

PSE&G has outreach specialist teams which will inform business operators and residents about the project, Roi said. Letters will be mailed out about two weeks before work starts on the project. Outreach team members may visit businesses that may be affected.

“We will use (reverse emergency notification) to let people know when we are working in their area,” Roi said.

Quinn said, “it is important to get it right.” Houses are close to the street – and the potential for the effect of noise would be greater – as the project advances toward Harrison Street, he said.

“Nothing you can do is too much” to inform and explain the project,” Quinn said.