VNHA was retained by New Jersey American Water (NJAW) to design, coordinate and obtain the approvals for a 4.3-mile extension of public water supply from the existing NJAW water distribution system located in Princeton Township to the main entrance gate of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Hopewell Campus through an environmentally sensitive, non-franchised water service area. After BPU approval, extensive surveying utilizing GPS RTK and Conventional Survey Methods were provided, and base maps showing the configuration of the BMS Campus on-site water distribution system were developed from existing records for the on-site water distribution system. The on-site map was used as a base for the campus water model which was developed to ensure adequate water service for each building of the 400 Acre campus. The required campus on-site improvements were identified through hydraulic modeling/analysis and conceptually designed to accommodate the public water supply.
Environmental approvals were required for portions of the Project proposed within NJDEP-regulated areas: freshwater wetlands, State open water, Exception Resource Value wetland transition areas (buffer), Flood Hazard Areas, and FHA Riparian Zones that drain into Category 1 waters. VNHA prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:13-15.5 to assess the potential for adverse impact to threatened and endangered species habitats within the project area. VNHA mapped freshwater wetlands, wetland transition areas, and flood hazard area riparian zones, and prepared an assessment of potential adverse impacts to these areas pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:13-15.5 and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.2. Disturbance to regulated areas, for which approvals were obtained, consisted of five stream crossings; 0.25 acres of temporary disturbance to freshwater wetlands; 4.76 acres of disturbance to Exception Resource Value wetland buffers; and temporary disturbance to the FHA riparian zone approved under a FHA Permit-by-Rule.
In response to the permitting challenges presented by the Project’s length and extent of overlapping regulated areas, VNHA developed an innovative permitting approach to establish regulated areas using a combination of existing environmental mapping from the NJDEP’s Landscape Project maps, and field mapping wetlands and State open water only within the project limit of disturbance. Using this approach, the time needed to field map environmentally sensitive areas was significantly reduced and resulted in fast-tracking the approvals. VNHA’s approach avoided the need to obtain authorization to enter numerous properties outside of the Project right-of-way to map regulated areas, thus accelerating the permitting process. NJDEP approvals were issued within 3-months of application submission.
Construction surveying services were provided, concluding with preparation of record documents including Water Distribution maps, valve cards, tap cards, and Hydrant Cards in format ready for NJAW’s GIS Database and Hydraulic Model.
VNHA provided project coordination among the team members and two separate construction contractors; the various regulatory agencies (NJDEP, the Mercer County Engineer, the Mercer County Soil Conservation District, Princeton Township, and Hopewell Township), and the numerous property owners living adjacent to the road right-of-ways. The construction process involved coordination of numerous road closings, simultaneous construction activities at separate locations with multiple shift coverage of oversight, blasting activities, jack-boring beneath a stream, and an open-cut stream crossing.