As part of their massive $3.9 billion, 10-year proposed infrastructure plan, called "Energy Strong," PSE&G will be running underground transformer lines from the New Milford substation to the River Edge Swim Club, officials reported at the meeting of the River Edge Mayor and Council Monday evening.
The plan, prompted by the effects of Superstorm Sandy that left residents in New Milford, River Edge and Oradell without power and gas for 10 days, includes raising, relocating or protecting all switching and substations affected by recent storms as well as those in newly designated flood zones, moving 20 miles of overhead electric distribution lines underground, reinforcing overhead power lines to withstand sustained 65 mph winds, replacing and modernizing 750 miles of gas mains near flood areas, and deploying "smart-grid technologies" to better monitor operations to more swiftly employ repair teams.
In April, New Milford was one of ten Bergen County towns that approved resolutions supporting “Energy Strong” – PSE&G’s proposal to strengthen its electric and gas distribution systems to better withstand powerful storms and natural disasters.
At the time, Mayor Ann Subrizi said the pain and suffering that Irene and Sandy left in their wake made it clear that action must be taken.
“We are pleased that PSE&G wants to safeguard the installations impacted by Irene as well as Sandy,” Subrizi said. “Residents lost power, contents of refrigerators and contact with loved ones. Businesses had to shut down for days on end – losing business they can’t make back. Protecting the New Milford substation against future flooding makes sense, and we urge the BPU to move forward in a thoughtful but speedy fashion so this vital work can get started.”
According to River Edge's Borough engineer, Robert Costa, PSE&G representatives reported that the New Milford-River Edge project will take 7 to 14 days to complete, causing no interruption of service. PSE&G has scheduled to begin the work sometime between September and December.
And if there is one thing that residents along the Hackensack and reservoirs know, it's that historically, September through December is hurricane and flood season.
Patch will provide updates to this story as they occur.