By MATT KOESTERS
Work will begin this week on the installation of a new, 16-inch natural gas pipeline near Utica, according to a Vectren news release.
Vectren will also relocate a segment of its existing 10-inch transmission pipeline because of the pending construction of the east-end bridge, which will complete the Interstate 265 loop.
“The addition of a second transmission pipeline provides added reliability to an area that will undoubtedly see more commercial and residential growth as the interstate bypass project continues. Furthermore, this installation project will greatly enhance the ability to maintain the safety of this pipeline, ensure we can comply with federal inspection guidelines and eliminates the need to disrupt daily operations within these communities,” said Bob Rogge, Vectren’s Southeast Division manager of field operations, in the release. “Upgrading to a dual pipeline arrangement now not only makes it more accessible, but avoids the enhanced expense should work need to be done on the transmission line after the new interstate is in place.”
The work should not require any additional land acquisition, as the new pipeline will run parallel to the old one and Vectren already owns the easements, said company spokesperson Chase Kelley.
“There should probably be no land acquisition work because we already have the easements. Usually those easements are as much as 50-feet wide on either side of the line, so we should be fine with the existing easements,” Kelley said. “We will certainly be contacting property owners if we have to go back and forth across their property to begin this construction work.”
The addition of the new $5.7 million pipeline will add capacity to the system, but will not cause rates to go up for Vectren customers at this time, Kelley said.
“When we determine we need to adjust rates to recover those costs, we will do so,” Kelley said. “Right now, there are no immediate plans to do so.”
Service disruptions are not anticipated during the upgrade, according to the release. The work, which has been awarded to Troy Construction, should be completed in January.