Awards » 2012 » Management of a Flood Prone Essential Utility


Management of a Flood Prone Essential Utility

NJ Society of Municipal Engineers
Project of the Year

PROJECT HISTORY:

The Borough of Milltown is one of ten municipalities in the State of New Jersey that owns and operates its own Electric Distribution System. By maintaining its own electric distribution system, the Borough is able to purchase bulk power from Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) at a reduced rate and pass on the savings to its residents.

The substation was originally constructed in the 1960's and unfortunately is located in an area that is currently considered a special flood hazard area subject to the 1% chance flood.

Historic flood events have occurred in the Borough as a result of a 75-year storm on July 21,1975, during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, storms in April of 2007 and 2010 and most recently during Hurricane Irene in 2011. These storms inundated the electrical substation and power to all Borough municipal offices, residents, businesses, traffic signals and street lights was cut off for days. It has become evident that changes in conditions have resulted in increased flooding levels and flooding frequency in this area of the Borough.

CLIENT REQUIREMENTS:

  • PROVIDE MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO RESTORE POWER AFTER FLOODING EVENTS AND STATION FAILURES
  • PREPARE COST ESTIMATES FOR NEW SUBSTATION
  • STUDY POTENTIAL LOCATIONS FOR RELOCATED FACILITY
  • RECOMMEND AND COORDINATE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR CONTRACTS TO KEEP EXISTING SUBSTATION FUNCTIONAL
  • COORDINATE EFFORTS FOR LAND ACQUISITION

UNIQUE OR UNUSUAL DESIGN FEATURES:

  • PROVIDE EXPERTISE TO MAINTAIN OPERATION OF SUBSTATION THAT IS LOCATED IN A SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA
  • COORDINATE IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED TO RESTORE SUBSTATION AFTER MULTIPLE FLOODING EVENTS
  • DEVELOPMENT OF PHASE IMPROVEMENT APPROACH TO SUBSTATION MAINTENANCE
  • DETERMINE SUITABLE ALTERNATE LOCATIONS TAKING INTO ACCOUNT MULTIPLE FACTORS

THE RESULT:

Through the tireless efforts of Borough Engineer Michael J. McClelland and the Municipal Officials and Staff, the Borough is now well on it's way to providing a reliable and resilient power source for it's residents and making the disruptions of electric service in the Borough a distant memory.