WATER MAIN FIX SLATED FOR SEPTEMBER

sbury-hydrantWork on an old water main below Shrewsbury Avenue is expected to begin after Labor Day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

An overdue upgrade to boost water pressure to homes and businesses along Shrewsbury Avenue is expected to start in September, says Red Bank Engineer Christine Ballard.

On Wednesday, the borough council awarded a $524,206 contract to a Long Branch company to replace the outdated four-inch water main beneath the bustling corridor with an eight-inch line.

“We’ll start work probably after Labor Day,” Ballard said.

The overhaul job, replacing about 3,000 feet of pipe, will likely take about two months, she said.

Shrewsbury Avenue, notorious for heavy traffic and backups, will stay open to two-lane traffic for most of the work, “although there may be a day or two that we detour one lane,” Ballard said.

D & D Trenchless Services, of Long Branch, will perform the work.

The bid award for the project comes nearly six months after the council passed a $1.85 million bond to cover this project and others in town.

The low-output main’s replacement is long overdue, eliciting calls from home and business owners — and one prospective merchant whose plans for a kayak boathouse have been stalled — to upgrade the at least 50-year-old line to bring water pressure to safer levels for fire services.

Doing so by the end of the year is imperative, Ballard said. Monmouth County is expected to get started on a full replacement of nearby Hubbards Bridge in the spring of next year, and she said, “we have to do this work before they do that.”