When Judy Cariani was notified last June that PSE&G planned to replace natural gas lines in her Springfield neighborhood, she admits that she was skeptical.
“I found out about the work just as school was letting out, and I wasn’t too thrilled to have my peaceful summer vacation disrupted,” said Cariani, a middle school math teacher.
But once the work began, the PSE&G crew convinced Cariani that she had no reason for worry.
“The crew members were polite, professional and always had a positive attitude,” she wrote in a letter to PSE&G, praising the utility crews’ performance. “They worked diligently in the hot, humid weather.”
The work on Cariani’s street was part of the first phase of PSE&G’s three-year-long Gas System Modernization Program (GSMP), which ultimately will replace 510 miles of cast-iron and unprotected steel mains and 38,000 service lines throughout the utility’s New Jersey service territory. In 2019, PSE&G will begin the second phase of GSMP, which calls for replacement of an additional 875 miles of aging gas infrastructure through 2023.
At this accelerated pace, the utility can replace all of its cast-iron and unprotected steel pipes with modern ones in 25 years – continuing to support a safe, clean and reliable gas system..
“Like aging roads and bridges, all infrastructure needs to be maintained – and eventually replaced – to preserve its integrity. Gas infrastructure is no different,” said Mike Gaffney, PSE&G’s senior director in charge of the GSMP program. “PSE&G has 3,600 miles of cast-iron pipe, more than any other utility in the country. The majority of those pipes have been in the ground for decades, some dating back to the early 1900s. After all that time, cast-iron and unprotected steel pipes can crack and corrode, leading to reliability, safety and environmental issues. That’s why we need to replace our aging gas infrastructure as expediently as possible.”
PSE&G’s Gas System Modernization Program also will create 3,200 jobs and help spur the economy, Gaffney said.
“We’re eager to do our gas main replacement work, and we make every effort to work quickly, neatly and with as little disruption to customers as possible,” he said.
“However, we understand that at times our work can be inconvenient and impact the neighborhoods in which we’re working, as well as our customers’ property. That’s why it’s important to keep our customers informed throughout the process so they know what to expect.”
PSE&G communicates in a variety of ways with customers who will be affected during GSMP work, including letters, door-hangers and in-person visits.
“We’re always willing to answer questions or listen to concerns and feedback,” Gaffney said.
Cariani said she was satisfied with PSE&G’s communication before and during the construction work, and with the excellent condition of her neighborhood streets once the project was finished.
“I want to thank PSE&G and the crews who worked in my neighborhood for making the gas infrastructure upgrades an easy process,” Cariani said. “They provided excellent customer service throughout the process, and that made all the difference.”