Pump stations to be turned on
to allow manhole structures and
drainage connections to be sealed on Route 35
Bay floor silt likely to be stirred up causing cloudy water
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the continuing work to complete the pump stations and drainage system will require turning on the pumps to finish sealing manhole structures and connections to the drainage system. When the pumps are operational the outfall water stirs silt and sand on the bay floor, which can lead to cloudy water.
In order to minimize the turbidity, the Department is in the process of installing marine mattresses on the bay floor where water outfalls into the bay. Marine mattresses are stones enclosed in netting. NJDOT has also filled in the scour holes with clean sand, when the marine mattresses were installed as authorized by the DEP. Clean fill sand commonly contains some level of extremely fine clay particulates.
When the water from the pump stations drains into the bay the fine particulates are stirred up creating the turbidity in the water similar to when a person walks into the ocean and the sand is stirred up turning the water cloudy. The particulates from the clean fill sand are extremely fine and could pass through even the smallest sieve that is about as porous as a stocking. We are working with the permitting agencies to maximize the effectiveness of the mattresses to ensure that all the water from the outfalls drains onto the mattress, which dissipates its velocity and erosive power.
It is necessary to turn the pumps on this week to remove the water that has accumulated in the system so crews can continue sealing the connections between the pipes and the manhole structures. NJDOT has been working with the DEP to ensure the work complies with all environmental requirements. The water from the outfalls has been tested in the past and no problems have been identified. The water will continue to be tested when the pumps are operating. The DEP in conjunction with the Ocean County Health Department will be sampling water from the drainage system and from the bay when the outfalls are running.
To date NJDOT has sealed all the pipes and 50 percent of the manhole/pipe connections. The sealing of the entire system is expected to be completed this spring.
Route 35 was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The $341 million reconstruction project began in the fall of 2013 and had an expedited schedule to complete the massive project as soon as possible to prevent another storm from damaging the already compromised drainage system and highway.
Route 35 was completely rebuilt with a new stone-and-asphalt roadway that is two-feet thick, providing a more stable road and smoother driving surface. Final paving on Route 35 was completed last fall. The project replaced the old roadway that was eight-inch thick concrete slabs that were more susceptible to damage from a major storm. The project includes a new storm-water drainage system for Route 35 designed to handle 25-year storms and features nine pump stations and treatment facilities to filter the storm water prior to discharge into Barnegat Bay.
NJDOT has a robust community outreach effort that includes a hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, and email address, firstname.lastname@example.org for residents to pose questions or provide suggestions as work progresses. The Department also has a project-specific website that provides information on the construction activity.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT's traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information, and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info.