Within the next few weeks, downtown Urbana is expected to return to normal as Columbia Gas of Ohio puts the finishing touches on its $2 million investment to natural gas infrastructure in the center of the city.
The company announced that as of Nov. 8, it has completed construction work on its Urbana Natural Gas Line Replacement Project and has moved into the restoration phase in which all impacted properties in and around downtown – North Main, Scioto, Miami, Ward, Church and Court streets – will be returned to their original condition.
During the restoration phase, contracted crews will do concrete and paving work (streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and driveways) as well as lawn work (filling holes with dirt, reseeding grass and replanting plants).
According to a company press release, the local project, which began in mid-July, involved the installation of four miles of new natural gas mains and 400 customer service lines.
“The project in Urbana is part of our larger gas line replacement program that invests nearly $2 billion over 25 years to improve our more than 20,000-mile underground pipeline system,” said Kristin Begg, an external affairs specialist with Columbia Gas of Ohio. “We started (the program) in 2008, so we are closing out our ninth year in this statewide effort to upgrade our infrastructure and create a state-of-the-art natural gas delivery system.
“Our infrastructure, just like roads and bridges, needs replacement to continue providing safe and reliable service to homes and businesses. While the current system (in Urbana) has performed well, it is now time to replace the aging cast iron and bare steel pipes with specially designed, long-lasting plastic pipes that will serve our customers for many years to come,” she added.
Begg said crews are about halfway finished with restoration work, expected to wrap up within the coming weeks. During this time, residents are reminded that all Columbia Gas of Ohio employees and contractors carry identification cards bearing their name, photograph and identification number.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.