Ocean County officials introduced a project Wednesday that they say will fix stormwater issues on Lavallette’s West Point Island and prevent sinkholes from forming where underground storm sewer pipes are deteriorating.
The Ocean County commissioners are expected to solicit bids for the project beginning next week. In planning the project, officials had an important decision to make, said County Engineer John Ernst. The pipes will be lined and restored rather than dug up and replaced.
“The reason we’re doing this as a lining project is because these are pipes that run between houses,” Ernst explained. “There are existing corrugated metal pipes, and there are some sink holes occurring along the pipes themselves, so the property owners have been concerned about it. We’re concerned about it it too.”
In a practice that has become known as “pipe-lining,” which Ocean County has performed before, a pipe-lining contractor shoots a liner in, inflate it to the size of the pipe, and it cures within the pipe and re-forms the pipe with modern material. The alternative would be to physically remove the existing pipes and replace them, which would involve not only digging up streets on West Point Island, but digging trenches in the yards of homeowners and disturbing their properties.
“The issue here, like in some other neighborhoods we’ve worked with, is that these run between the houses,” Ernst explained. “There are some catch basins in the street and there are pipes on both sides of the street, one side to the other, and out to the bay. That section between the street and the bay needs to be repaired rather than ripped up.”
“We’ve done several projects with pipe-lining and this will be another one to get the pipes lined and avoid disturbing the ground above it,” he said.
There is no firm timeline on when the work will be performed since it has yet to go out to bid, though needless to say the work will be performed after Labor Day. There are at least three areas where there lining is needed along Pershing Boulevard and three along Dickman Drive.
“Rather than rip up all their yards – people have fences, sheds, landscaping – we’re going to hire a pipe-lining contractor to install a liner in it and they seal it up,” Ernst said.