South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Gas line replacement work begins this week in the South Side Flats

 


A Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania project to replace one mile of natural gas main line with plastic pipe in South Side was presented at the Brashear Center on Jan. 6.

The hour-long presentation was conducted by company and project officials. City Councilman Bruce Kraus was in attendance.

The work may include replacing residents’ customer service line and moving any indoor gas meters outside.

The affected streets are Sarah St., Jane St., East Carson St., Wrights Way, 22nd St., 24th St., 25th St., and 26th St.

However, not all Columbia gas customers on those streets will be impacted in this stage of the multi-phase project. Notification letters were mailed last month to affected customers.

To transfer service from the old gas pipeline to the upgraded pipeline, some homes’ gas service will be temporarily interrupted for several hours to ensure the safety of work crews and customers.

A Columbia Gas employee or contractor will notify affected customers in person or with a door hanger/business card at least three days in advance before gas service is interrupted.

Meter relocation letters were also sent to those with meters located indoors.

The “South Side Pipeline Improvement Project” was set to begin on Jan. 12 on Sarah St. from 25th to 27th streets, weather permitting.

The estimated project completion date is June, 2015. Work will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The weather may be a factor, such as cold days with snow and ice, or all-day rains. In that case in which work is postponed for a day, schedules will be readjusted by one day.

Work will occur on the Jan. 19, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day federal holiday.

Due to the location of gas pipeline that needs replaced, temporary road and parking restrictions are possible during working hours. Parking restrictions will be clearly marked with signage at least three days before taking effect.

Non-compliance may result in the towing of vehicles.

Mr. Kraus said experience has taught him parking problems will result in numerous calls to his office.

Scott Waitlevertch, manager of government affairs for Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, said the goal is to restrict only a few parking spaces.

“We are not looking to tow cars; we just need the space for the project,” he said.

Mr. Kraus said some residents’ cars might have to be temporarily moved into a permit parking area.

Mr. Waitlevertch said he would work with parking officials on the matter.

The project will be done at no cost to the customer, although the Public Utility Commission will weigh the pipeline replacement cost when it decides on an amount to raise rates, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania’s media contact Brynnly Schwartz said.

After the work is completed, a company representative or contractor will need access to the affected homes to restore gas service and perform safety checks.

All Columbia Gas employees and contractors will be carrying identification cards bearing their name, photograph, and identification number.

Customers may call 1-888-460-4332 for Columbia Gas employee verification.

If the homeowner can’t be reached in person, a tag will be left on the door with information on how to contact Columbia Gas with any questions or concerns.

Restoration of service will be done at no charge to the customer.

The permanent restoration will be in accordance with city ordinances and standards.

In her presentation, Ms. Schwartz said from 2007 to 2014, Columbia Gas invested nearly $900 million in the modernization and expansion of its distribution system in Pennsylvania. Of that amount, about $685 million was dedicated to replacing 620 miles of pipe.

For more details on the project, visit: http://www.ColumbiaGasPa.com/community-news/infrastructure-upgrade.

 

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