This summer, Columbia Gas will be replacing over 15,000 feet of natural gas main lines in the south section of the city. The project will cost close to $1.5 million.
Streets affected by the project will include Wadsworth, Court, Lisbon from Wadsworth to the Village Green, the south end of the Green, Scott, Maple, the north section of Hood, a section of Colonial, Fairview, South Broad, Kirk, Indian Lake, Holly, Hood and Fairground Boulevard in the city limits. There are 320 homes that will be affected by this project.
"We are looking to begin in April, and the project is estimated to be complete around the end of fall," said Columbia Gas spokesperson Amy Koncelik.
Besides replacing the old steel main line with plastic, individual homes service lines will be inspected and replaced if needed. The project will also include moving inside meters to the outside of the residence.
"This will be done at no cost to the resident," Koncelik said. "Moving the meters outside is being done for the safety aspect."
She said when the meters are placed outside a home, fire crews responding to an emergency are able to safely turn the gas off. An inside meter may be impossible to get at when there is a fire or other danger.
She said all the meters will be equipped with remote readers. That means gas meter readers only have to drive down the street to get a reading.
To better inform residents and answer any questions they may have, a meeting has been set for 6 p.m. March 6 in meeting room A at the St. Michael Church Family Life Center, 340 N. Broad St.
"At that time, customers will have the opportunity to ask questions of Columbia construction personnel," Koncelik said.
She said in the near future, customers on the affected streets will see preliminary construction work in the area, such as staking of right of way and inspection of sewer lines. Customers whose property will benefit from this investment will be notified via letter of the public meeting.
The work will require a short interruption of natural gas service, and Columbia Gas will make personal contact with customers prior to shutting-off service and to schedule re-light appointments. The average gas line shutoff will last between two to three hours.
Koncelik reminds all residents that Columbia employees and contractors carry identification cards bearing their name, photograph and identification number, and will be happy to show it.
The Canfield project is part of a $2 billion program to improve 19,000 miles of underground pipeline. The program will continue over the next 20 years.