High school graduation and the Fourth of July parade both could have been interrupted in Chatham Borough last year had PSE&G not been accommodating and professional while undertaking Gas System Modernization Program upgrades, according to borough officials.
“There was a tremendous amount of outreach, beyond what we’ve had before, and it gave the residents a level of comfort to know what was going on,” said Steve Williams, Chatham Borough Administrator. “All around, the communication and planning were key to this project. It really was a win-win for everyone.”
Williams said that Chatham residents are experiencing enormous benefits by having a modern, state-of-the-art gas system with reduced leaks, enhanced reliability and a safer community. PSE&G is implementing a nearly $1.9 billion, five-year program that will replace 875 miles of old pipes and other gas infrastructure with safer and more durable plastic pipes and equipment throughout New Jersey.
“The quality of the construction and restoration was very, very good,” Williams said. “The construction was quick and efficient. Residents weren’t inconvenienced. Traffic wasn’t detoured for more than a day on a street. When the project was complete, the roads were in perfect condition.”
PSE&G made it a priority to inform residents through meetings, information on door hangers, social media updates, reverse 911 calls and a hotline for residents.
“The resident outreach was spectacular. It made the whole project,” Williams said. “Residents who did have questions could get them answered. They weren’t calling the Borough, they were contacting PSE&G directly. And, it just made things so much smoother.”
Several residents shared positive feedback with the Borough about the project, including one resident who had a concern about the planned placement of a gas meter at his home.
“PSE&G was able to move the meter to the side of his house and the gentleman couldn’t have been happier,” Williams said.
Williams encouraged other municipalities in need of GSMP work to take advantage of early planning and communication so that they too can have a positive, “home run” experience with PSE&G.