2021 03 BC Oliver Street

Improvements on Bordentown City’s Oliver Street are set to start this spring with water main upgrades. Construction will continue into summer and fall with road improvements.

Long-needed upgrades are finally coming to Oliver Street, Bordentown City officials say.

The city’s asset management plan designated the street as one of the areas most in need of improvement three years ago, but talks about the site started to ramp up a few months ago.

Now, a preliminary plan is in place.

“We hosted a community meeting and walked the street with residents to hear about their concerns with the road,” said city commissioner Joe Myers. “We collected feedback from the residents to include within the project, including but not limited to new and improved sidewalks, ADA compliant ramps, crosswalks, pavement markings and stormwater improvements.”

The project will start with upgrades to underground water infrastructure. The current water main underneath Oliver Street is “old, undersized and, in some spots, absent altogether,” Myers said.

The entire existing main will be replaced—1,900 linear feet of eight-inch line from Federal Street to West Chestnut Street. The estimated cost of the project is $950,000. The current main ranges from four to six inches.

Water mains six inches in diameter or small comprise about 40 percent of the city’s water system. According to the asset management plan, mains with a diameter of eight inches or larger are desirable based on transmission and fire protection measures. Though water main breaks and leaks are infrequent in the city, and water pressure is sufficient, the mains are still due for replacement.

“The larger main will improve water circulation by eliminating the existing gap in coverage, increase available water flow and increase pressure for firefighting,” Myers said.

The city anticipates that construction will start this spring.

Road improvements make up the second component of the project. City engineer Doug Johnson is finalizing preliminary design and incorporating community feedback from the walkthrough—this portion of the project will include repaved road, new and improved sidewalks, ADA compliant ramps, pavement markings and stormwater improvements.

Once the preliminary design is complete, the city will share it with residents through the municipal website and email distribution list. Myers said the city is aiming to finalize the design and bid out the project by spring. Construction is expected to start late summer or early fall.

Construction is expected to start late summer or early fall.

It’ll be a busy year, but the upgrades are long overdue, Myers said.

The city created and published an asset management plan for its water system three years ago. It was written up in collaboration with professional consultants, city staff and residents who serve on the water advisory committee.

“The intent was two-fold: evaluate/assess the current conditions and services of the water facilities; and create a 10-year capital plan to systematically improve and invest into the water facilities to ensure residents are getting clean and safe water,” Myers said. “Different categories include annual improvements to the plant and internal systems, wells, valves, tanks, services mains in the road, hydrants, meters and distribution system. All of these proposed 10-year improvements are based on the thorough assessment of the existing conditions as well as the new state regulations.”

The city continues to adhere to the special projects detailed in the annual improvement plan. The first year of the project, for example, outlines upgrades to the water plant and a specific road, like Oliver Street, that has an outdated water main.

Grants help fund the projects, Myers said.

“Typically, the city tries to marry the underground water improvements in the road with competitive grant funds that the city secures from the NJDOT for roadway improvements—using the city’s asset management plan, the city uses capital funds to rebuild the water infrastructure, like in West Street, Burlington Street and Oliver Street later this year, and simultaneously, the city will use state NJDOT funds to repave the road, sidewalks, curbs and ramps,” Myers said. “This collaboration maximizes the state grant funds with the city resources.”

Overall, Myers said the city just wants up-to-date support.

“On behalf of the water department and public works, our collective goal is to rebuild the city’s infrastructure, one road at a time,” he said. “In order to do that, we have adopted an extensive community outreach effort to make sure we hear from the city residents and incorporate their voices and feedback into the design of the project.”

For more information, or to view Bordentown City’s asset management plan, visit cityofbordentown.com.