Teaneck’s zoning board approved a Public Service Electric and Gas plan Thursday to upgrade its electricity substation on the Bergenfield border, clearing the way for a project the utility Bergen County customers.
PSE&G applied for variances related to upgrades planned at the facility located along Meyer Court, spanning the Teaneck-Bergenfield border. While most of the site is in Bergenfield and was already approved by the borough, Teaneck only recently set a hearing date.
The project met with some concern from area residents who questioned the impact heavy duty construction vehicles and road work would have on their Palisade Avenue neighborhood.
Longview Court resident Richard Spain said the company should rethink having construction vehicles enter the site via his street from Teaneck Road.
“On my block there are about 12 to 15 children playing in the street,” he said. “If they (the trucks) came off of New Bridge Road that would really be the way to go.”
Another resident, Joann Canada, said she also worried about the impact of road work part of the PSE&G project.
“This seems like it’s really disrupting our whole living situation,” she told the board.
William Brackmann, a civil engineer working for PSE&G, said the company was only allowed to enter through certain areas. Workers do not have access rights through the nearby CSX railroad line, he said.
Brackmann said the work would last about 12 months, with the heaviest construction during the first three months. The plan calls for PSE&G to repave Meyer Court and landscape around the substation.
Officials have said they would work with local police on traffic issues caused by the work. A staging area for construction vehicles is also planned at the .
The company also needed permission to install a 70-foot lightning rod and for construction of a retaining wall on the Teaneck-side. The rod is similar to a flag pole and would not be lit up, Brackmann said.
The project is part of $3.5 billion in infrastructure improvements PSE&G is making across New Jersey, the company said. Locally, officials said the substation project would lessen the load on stations in New Milford and Leonia.
The area’s demand for electricity has grown and the project was needed to prevent outages from overloaded systems, according to Noel Rivera, a design engineer with PSE&G. Without the station, the area would see rolling blackouts.
“We have to address this need,” Rivera said.
The work will significantly upgrade capacity at the Bergenfield substation, according to PSE&G.
All six zoning board members at the meeting approved the utility’s application, with the stipulation that PSE&G would provide residents with a contact for any complaints and maintain the site.
Officials have said they planned to start work at the substation in May. The company also plans to upgrade a substation at Palisade Avenue and Colonial Court, but details of that project have not yet been released.