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.
When PSE&G replaced aging gas pipes in the Borough of Westwood as part of its Gas System Modernization Program, the work took crews right in front of The Iron Horse Restaurant on Washington Avenue. Needless to say, The Iron Horse owner Lee Tremble was concerned about how this work would impact his business. After all, closing the restaurant or blocking pedestrians would mean losing customers and money. Much to his surprise, that wasn’t the case.
“It was pretty much an extraordinary experience,” said Tremble. “PSE&G worked around my schedule. The crew started work early and made sure to finish their work by the time I opened each day at 11:30 a.m. I never lost one minute of operation. And when the first bill came after the upgrade, the gas part of my bill went down because everything was running more efficiently. Everything PSE&G said they were going to do, came to be.”
Within an hour on the morning of Jan. 21, a major energy transportation company experienced a rupture to a gas transmission pipeline in Ohio and an equipment malfunction in Rhode Island. The first incident severely injured two people and damaged area homes while the second precipitated a gas outage for more than 10,000 people. In winter’s cold, no one wants to be without heat, or worse, injured in a gas incident.
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.
There is a reason PSE&G’s territory cuts a swath across the most densely populated and developed cities in New Jersey. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, PSE&G laid thousands of miles of natural gas pipes to bring this new energy source to homes and businesses – fueling the growth of New Jersey’s cities and industry. At the time, the material of choice was cast iron, and later unprotected steel. While the majority of these pipes have served us well all these decades since, it’s time to modernize our system for the next generation of growth.