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Wellington Ave. detours to continue for at least a week due to sewer break
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Wellington Ave. detours to continue for at least a week due to sewer break

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VENTNOR — Detours will continue in the Heights section of the city as repairs to a sewer line leak that closed a section of Wellington Avenue on Sunday could take more to four weeks, officials said Monday.

“It’s a huge project,” said police Chief Doug Biagi said. “It’s not something small that’s going to be fixed overnight.”

The six-block section of Wellington Avenue between Dorset and Victoria avenues was closed Sunday to vehicle and pedestrian traffic after the Atlantic County Utilities Authority learned of the leak.

The leak is somewhere along the 12-inch sewer main and there is a partial collapse in the roadway. Biagi said police suspect recent pile-driving activity related to home raising in the area may have contributed to the damage.

The road surface will have to be torn up to find and repair the leak, he said.

Atlantic County Utilities Authority Communications Manager Amy Menzel said Monday night that leakage from the pipe could continue releasing wastewater for six or seven days. However, she said there is no immediate health risk, and it doesn’t impact the safety of drinking water.

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Ventnor Police Capt. Joe Fussner said most traffic going into Ventnor along Wellington will be diverted onto North Little Rock Avenue to Burk Avenue then onto Dorset.

The section of the roadway that is closed serves as a main thoroughfare for those driving to Ventnor, Margate or Longport from the Atlantic City Expressway and the Black Horse Pike.

The shopping center, which includes an Acme and other stores, remains open, but police asked that those who can use Albany Avenue do so.

“We’re trying to urge people who are trying to cut through Ventnor Heights, don’t do that,” Fussner said.

Lafayette Utilities has been contracted to complete the repairs. Menzel said the company will install a bypass pipe that will stop the leak while work is done to repair the sewer main. Parts have been ordered and will arrive in the next few days, she said. Until that bypass is finished, there will continue to be wastewater leakage at the site.

Menzel said the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, local health departments and the office of emergency management have all been notified.

She added that people should avoid contact with the leaked wastewater and should not walk, bike or drive through it.

Menzel also asked that Ventnor, Margate and Longport residents conserve water to help minimize the amount of wastewater that would sent through the area where the leak is located.

Water samples will be taken, and testing will be conducted as a precaution near the leak. If recreational activities in nearby waterways need to be temporarily suspended, notification will be posted, Menzel said.

Staff Writer Mark Melhorn contributed to this story.

Contact Claire Lowe:

609-272-7251

clowe@pressofac.com

Twitter @clairelowe

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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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