DAM SITE REPAIR OFFICIAL: ‘WE’LL MAKE IT’

nrr-062410David Yegelwel, in brown pants at center, watches preparations for the installation of storm drain Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

The mishap-plagued replacement of an earthen dam on Navesink River Road in Middletown will be completed in time to provide traffic relief for the July 3 KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink, a Monmouth County official tells redbankgreen.

That’s assuming, of course, that there are no more bursting water lines and other calamities of the kind that have beset the 12-week-old effort, says county bridge department supervisor David Yegelwel. His outlook also assumes no significant rain.

“We’ll make it,” Yegelwel said. “Our target is June 30.”

Heavy rain would “make it sloppy for me, but if it’s sporadic, I should be OK.”

The National Weather Service forecast says there’s a chance of thunderstorms over the weekend and early next week.

Delays were triggered by compliance with state Department of Environmental Protection regulations, which required the installation of cradle slabs to stabilize new culvert piping that drains the pond into Poricy Pond Brook, county officials have said previously.

Other factors included damage to a 12-inch water main that even New Jersey American Water Co., didn’t know existed, Yegelwel said, and the discovery that a 24-inch water main ran below the northern lane of the roadway, instead of beneath it’s southern edge.

Then, over the weekend, for reasons unrelated to the culvert job, a water main burst up the hill from the site, close to Hubbard Avenue, sending thousands of gallons of water into the job site. The water company, which had a repair crew on the scene Sunday night, failed to alert the county, he said.

Result: “I spent a day and a half taking the damage that caused out of the excavation” for the new culvert and bridge, he said.

Assuming no more surprises like that, Yegelwel said he hoped to begin rebuilding the roadway as early as tomorrow, and no later than Monday. County crews are working “close to” around the clock on the job, he said.