Columbia Gas invests $20 million to update systems in ToledoWritten by Caitlin McGlade | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The dirt mounds and deep holes dug out of the earth on Brighton Avenue in South Toledo are signs of a $2 billion project to update natural gas pipes across the state. Columbia Gas officials announced Feb. 9 that the company is kicking off 2012 with seven projects spanning the Toledo area.
Columbia Gas’ $20.4 million investment will upgrade natural gas infrastructure for more than 6,000 customers. Each of the seven projects will cost an average of $2.9 million.
The company is replacing nearly 50 miles of old, bare steel lines with plastic pipes, increasing gas delivery pressure to medium from low and is moving indoor meters to the outdoors, said Chris Kozak, spokesperson for the company.
The change will not have an effect on gas prices, he added.
At a news conference, Mayor Mike Bell and Regional Growth Partnership President Dean Monske expressed gratitude toward Columbia Gas for fitting Toledo with the most up-to-date pipeline technology.
Councilman Mike Craig, who represents District 3, said four of the seven projects are located in his district.
“They’re replacing the infrastructure before it fails,” he said. “They’re doing a good job to do this before it’s a crisis.”
The largest project in Toledo surrounds Yates Street, which will impact 1,206 customers and cost $4 million. Columbia Gas is updating its system all across Ohio, slated to take 25 years. Toledo saw an $18 million investment in 2011 and by the time the project ends Northwest Ohio will have received $200 million worth of gas investments.