[Adopted 3-13-1989 by Ord. No. 89-2 (Ch. 136, Art. I of the 1984 Code)]
This article shall be known as and may be cited as the "Independence Township Street Excavation Ordinance."
No person, firm or corporation shall disturb the surface of or make any opening, cut or excavation of any kind in any road, street, alley, highway, sidewalk or any other public way under the jurisdiction of the Township of Independence for any purpose without first having obtained a permit for the same as hereinafter provided.
In the event of emergency where repairs must be made immediately, then, and in that event only, the excavation may be made for the purpose of alleviating the emergency. As soon as the leak or interruption in service has been repaired, the person, persons or corporation having made the excavation shall forthwith apply for a permit and comply with all the other applicable provisions of this article.
Street excavation or street opening permits shall be obtained in the following manner:
Application, in writing, shall be made to the Borough Clerk and signed by the person, firm or corporation making the proposed street opening or excavation, setting forth the location of the proposed opening or excavation, the size thereof and the purposes therefor. The application shall then be forwarded to the Township Engineer for his review and approval. The Township Engineer shall then return the application to the Township Clerk, who shall then issue the permit. The Township Clerk shall thereupon notify the Township Police Department of the streets or roads affected and the dates, times and nature of the work to be performed.
[Amended 10-13-1989 by Ord. No. 89-22]
Before the permit shall be issued by the Township Clerk, the person, firm or corporation making the application shall have on file with the Township Clerk a surety bond, issued by a surety company authorized to do business in this state, in the amount of $1,000, covering the opening or excavation set forth in the application and any and all future openings and excavations to be made in a calendar year. Said bond shall be conditioned upon the permittee's compliance with this article and shall indemnify the Township for any loss, liability or damage that may result or accrue from or because of the making, existence or manner of constructing or guarding any such opening or excavation during the term of said bond.
The person, firm or corporation making and signing the application shall comply with all the provisions of this article as hereinafter set forth.
The fee for such permit shall be $100 per opening. Such fee shall be due and payable at the time the application is made to the Township Clerk. In addition to the foregoing, the applicant will be responsible for reasonable engineering and inspection fees, the fees set forth in the following schedule:
Any opening area less than 100 square feet: $175.
Any opening area 100 square feet or greater: $175, plus $35 for each additional 100 square feet of opening area or percentage thereof.
A three-foot width shall be used for purposes of determining the inspection fee only.
The Township Clerk shall provide each permittee, at the time a permit is issued hereunder, a suitable placard upon which is written the following notice: "Township of Independence, New Jersey, Permit No. Expires: ." It shall be the duty of any permittee to keep the placard posted in a conspicuous place at the site of the excavation work. It shall be unlawful for any person to exhibit such placard at or about any excavation not covered by such permit or to misrepresent the number of the permit or the date of expiration of the permit.
It shall be unlawful to make any opening or excavation in any way contrary to or at variance with the terms of the permit therefor. Proper bracing shall be maintained to prevent the collapse of adjoining ground, and the excavation shall not have anywhere below the surface any portion which extends beyond the opening at the surface.
No injury shall be done to any pipes, cables or conduits in the making of such excavations or openings, and notice shall be given to the persons maintaining any such pipes, cable or conduits which are or may be endangered or affected by the making of any such excavations or openings before such pipes, cables or conduits shall be disturbed.
The area of pavement to be removed from the proposed opening or excavation shall have straight, clean-cut edges, and the material removed from the excavation shall be removed from the site and disposed of in a manner directed by the Township Engineer.
Upon completion of the proposed work in the excavated area, the trench shall be backfilled with broken stone or stone dust. The backfilling shall be made in layers not to exceed six inches in depth and be thoroughly compacted and shall be carried to within six inches of the surface of the existing bituminous pavement.
Upon completion of the compacted backfilling of the trench to the required elevation, the backfilled area shall be paved with four inches compacted thickness or bituminous stabilized based course and two inches compacted thickness of FABC-1 bituminous surface course.
In areas where concrete pavement is removed for the proposed excavation, the compacted backfill shall be completed as above to the subgrade of the existing pavement and repaved with an equal thickness of concrete pavement.
All of the backfilling and repairing of the excavated area shall be done in a neat and workmanlike manner so that the restored pavement meets the existing surrounding pavement as smoothly as possible. All the cost of backfilling and repairing shall be borne by the permittee.
All repairing shall be completed within three days of the date that backfilling is completed.
No part of a trench or excavation shall be tunneled or undermined, except in such cases as may be approved by the Township Engineer.
If the permittee fails to complete the excavation work covered by the permit, including backfilling as set forth in this article, within the time set by said permit, the Township Engineer, if he deems it advisable, shall have the right to do all work and things necessary to complete the excavation work. The permittee shall be liable for the actual cost thereof and 25% of such cost, in addition to general overhead and administrative expenses.
Whenever the Mayor and Township Committee enacts any ordinance or resolution providing for the paving or repaving of any street, the Township Clerk shall promptly mail a written notice thereof to each person, firm or corporation owning any sewer main, conduit or other utility in or under said street. Such notice shall notify such persons, firms or corporations that no excavation permits shall be issued for openings, cuts or excavations in said street for a period of five years after the date of enactment of said ordinance or resolution. Such notice shall also notify such person, firm or corporation that application for excavating permits for work to be done prior to such paving or repaving shall be submitted promptly in order that the work covered by the excavation permit shall be completed as soon as practicable, and in no event later than the date specified in the permit for the excavation therefor. During the five-year period, no excavation permit shall be issued to open, cut or excavate in said street unless, in the judgment of the Township Engineer, an emergency as described in this article exists which makes it absolutely essential that the excavation permit be issued.
Each permittee shall conduct and carry out the excavation work in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and annoyance to the general public and occupants of neighboring property. The permittee shall take appropriate measures to reduce, to the fullest extent practicable in the performance of the excavation work, noise, dust and unsightly debris and shall promptly remove from the street all excess of excavated materials.
All persons, firms or corporations granted a permit to make an opening or excavation in the public streets and highways of the Township shall at all times maintain suitable barricades and guards, display proper warning and signals and flags and provide all necessary watchmen to prevent injury to any person or damage to any vehicle by reason of the work. Such barricades shall be protected by sufficient lights at nighttime. Streets and highways must be kept open for traffic at all times, except when otherwise ordered or approved by the Township Engineer.
No street or highway shall remain open because of any permit issued pursuant to this article for a period in excess of two weeks, unless the Township Engineer shall approve a greater period of time, either at the time of the application for the permit or subsequent thereto. If the Township Engineer shall approve such a period of time at the time the application is submitted, it shall be so endorsed upon the application, and if approved subsequently, such approval shall be in writing and an endorsement to that effect attached to the placard required in § 342-5. In any event, no such approval shall be granted except on written application, signed by the permittee or applicant, setting forth the reasons for such application.
Users of subsurface street space shall file accurate drawings, plans and profiles showing the location and character of all existing underground structures and installations with the Township Engineer within two years after enactment of this article. Corrected maps shall be filed with the Township Engineer within 60 days after new installations, changes or replacements are made.
A permittee, prior to commencement of excavation work hereunder, shall furnish the Township Clerk satisfactory evidence, in writing, that the permittee has in force and will maintain in force during the performance of the excavation work and the period of the excavation permit public liability insurance of not less than $100,000 for any one person and $300,000 for any one accident and property damage insurance of not less than $25,000, duly issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state.
The Township Engineer shall verify the extent of the excavation or opening and shall inspect the work. No bond or deposit money, as the case may be, shall be released until 18 months after the completion of the project and receipt of written certification from the Township Engineer stating that the work has remained in a satisfactory condition for said 18 months.
Public utility corporations of the State of New Jersey may file a corporate bond on a yearly basis in an amount of $5,000 in lieu of cash bonds. Said bond shall be conditioned upon compliance with the provisions of § 342-8 hereof.
This article shall not be construed as imposing upon the Township or any official or employee any liability or responsibility for damages to any person injured by the performance of any excavation work for which an excavation permit is issued hereunder; nor shall the Township or any official or employee thereof be deemed to have assumed any such liability or responsibility by reason of inspections authorized hereunder, the issuance of any permit or the approval of any excavation work.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to punishment by a fine of not more than $500 or, in the case of individuals, may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, for each offense, at the discretion of the Judge before whom such conviction is had. Each day that a violation thereof is allowed to continue shall be considered a new and separate offense.