FREEHOLD – A new water treatment plant that will service Freehold Borough is nearing completion.
The new treatment plant is under construction on Waterworks Road in Freehold Township, across from the treatment plant that has served Freehold Borough for many decades.
This week, in response to an inquiry from the News Transcript, Borough Councilman George Schnurr said the new treatment plant is expected to be operational by April, with the final project closeout anticipated by May.
Schnurr said there have been supply chain issues that Coppola Services Inc., the contractor constructing the treatment plant, and Mott MacDonald, the engineering firm working on the project, have had to work around.
During a recent meeting, Borough Council members authorized the contract with Mott MacDonald to increase from an amount not to exceed $390,000 to an amount not to exceed $920,000.
The contract, which was awarded to the firm in 2020, calls for Mott MacDonald to provide engineering services to oversee and administer the construction of the new water treatment plant, according to a resolution.
According to the resolution, the increase is due to several factors causing work on the project to take longer than anticipated.
The factors impacting the project include equipment manufacturer and supplier delays related to the coronavirus pandemic; a delay in awarding the contract which pushed major building elements to be constructed during cold weather; unforeseen repairs to two water wells; and an unanticipated need to abandon one water well.
The council’s resolution states that as a result of those factors, additional work was needed on the part of Mott MacDonald to provide construction administration.
According to the resolution, Mott MacDonald has been working with Freehold Borough to develop the new water treatment plant since 2015. The council approved a proposal from the engineering firm in 2018 that covered design, permitting, funding assistance and bid services for the project.
“The governing body believes the expertise of (Mott MacDonald’s) team and the working relationship developed with the borough throughout this process will provide great value to the borough during the construction phase of this project,” the resolution states.
Freehold Borough’s existing water treatment plant on Waterworks Road in Freehold Township was constructed in 1949 and most recently upgraded in 1977.
Almost a decade ago, municipal officials determined the treatment plant had reached the end of its useful service life. Council members authorized the construction of a new treatment plant across Waterworks Road from the existing treatment plant.
In 2020, the council authorized a contract with Coppola Services, Ringwood, for the new water treatment plant’s construction. The contract currently totals $7.96 million.