Hartford Road in Mt. Laurel reopens to traffic as MUA completes $3.2 million sewer project

Officials say the replaced pipes carry more than 80 percent of the sewage generated in Mt. Laurel to the local treatment facility.

Stockpiled sections of 24” diameter pipe for installation in Hartford Road in the fall 2017.

The Mt. Laurel Municipal Utility Authority (MUA) has announced that the section of Hartford Road between Route 38 and Union Mill Road, which has been closed to through traffic since September, reopened to vehicles today, Thursday, Feb. 15.

The initial project schedule called for reopening the road with temporary paving in late January, followed by a subsequent road closure in May for final paving.

However, as MUA Director Pam Carolan said, the MUA met with Burlington County officials in January and agreed to complete the entire project, including final paving, before reopening the road.

According to officials, rain the night prior to the road’s reopening prevented the permanent striping from taking place prior to the reopening.

Striping work was instead scheduled to occur the week following the road’s reopening. Officials said the road would remain open with an alternating traffic pattern during striping.

“I would like to thank everyone, especially nearby residents and commuters, for their patience during construction,” MUA Chairman Chris Smith said.

Officials say construction was initially scheduled to take place last summer, but there were significant delays due to permitting issues, along with delays of material production and delivery as a result of the severe southern hurricanes in the United States.

In September, the MUA’s contractor, Montana Construction Corp Inc. of Lodi, began what officials described as the “long and arduous project” of replacing the 24” diameter sanitary sewer force main in Hartford Road from Union Mill Road to Route 38.

Officials say the existing critical section of pipe carries more than 80 percent of the sewage generated in Mt. Laurel to its treatment facility on Pike Road. The pipe failed repeatedly beginning in 2012, resulting in the imposition of use restrictions for MUA customers to facilitate emergency repairs.

According to officials, subsequent investigation by forensic engineers hired by the MUA indicated that the piping, originally installed in 1970, was subjected to external corrosion damage from stray electromagnetic induced current.

“The new piping installation includes additional protective measures to hasten future corrosion”, said Chuck Bernheimer, MUA Operations Director.

Bernheimer believes that the new piping will last 100 years.

The MUA funded the pipe replacement project via its Capital Improvement Program, however, longterm financing is also planned.

For the future, officials say the MUA has plans for two additional projects in this vicinity: rehabilitation of the original 1970 piping as back up transmission line and installation of additional replacement piping in Hartford Road from Route 38 toward Marne Highway.

Officials say timing of these projects has not yet been established.