CALCUTTA - St. Clair Township approved an application from Columbia Gas of Ohio to work within a township right of way. The unusual part is that it includes several roadways.
At Tuesday's Trustees meeting, chairman James Hall reported on the application, which essentially asks permission to allow Columbia to dig through, under, and around township roadways.
In the past, Columbia Gas has filed applications for a single right of way at a time, however, the application which came before trustees Tuesday encompasses some 21 streets in Glenmoor.
Shane Cartmill, an area liaison with Columbia Gas, explained this was done because the project is a "complete infrastructure project" and involves replacing entire sections of gas main at once, rather than small segments as in previous projects in the township.
The roadways listed in the application include Milbourne, John, Kelly, Wyoming, Princeton, Harvard, and Stauton avenues; Cannons Mill, Walker, and Glenn roads; Lyle, Ross, Cornell, 5th, Center, Florence, 2nd and Tague streets; Sharon and Mort drives; and Dillon Lane.
Cartmill said Glenmoor customers only will be affected by the main replacement for "a couple of hours" and will be made aware in advance of the time when gas service will be out.
The project is scheduled to begin July 1 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.
The application stated that 23,000 feet of 2-inch to 4-inch gas main will be installed as part of a state-wide effort to replace old gas mains. Cartmill said the mains being replaced in Glenmoor are approximately 40-50 years old and made of steel. The new mains will be plastic and offer better protection against leaks.
"They need upgraded, we can't deny that." said Trustee James Sabatini II of the aging steel gas mains.
Cartmill said Columbia Gas is spending $2 billion state-wide to update gas mains and the project as a whole is expected to take 20 years.
The application also states that repairs made to roads will be done to the specifications of township trustees. Furthermore, township road foreman Scott Barrett will inspect the repairs to ensure that Columbia has restored the roads to satisfactory condition.
"We stay in close contact with township officials." said Cartmill.
In many cases, replacing old gas mains mean that Columbia will have to excavate portions of the roadway. The application stated that a boring method will be used to bore under the roads and minimize damage to the roads when possible.
In the past, trustees have taken issue with the way Columbia Gas has repaired township roadways after gas main work. The primary issue has been that areas where the roadway had been excavated for gas lines tended to settle over time thus creating dips in the roadway. Trustees met with Columbia Gas representatives and resolved the issue in December, obtaining assurance from Columbia that roads would be repaired to township standards.
"Our goal is to put things back better than we found it-we'll do what we can to make sure that happens." said Cartmill.