Major gas line upgrade to bore under Maumee RiverWritten by Tom Konecny | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia Gas of Ohio announced a $7.5 million natural gas line replacement and upgrade, which will include a directional bore beneath the Maumee River between Maumee and Perrysburg. The project, announced July 16, is being described as “once in a generation” due to its length and scope.
“It’s the length, combined with the size of the pipeline, and all the different entities involved,” said Chris Kozak, communications and community relations manager. “At the same time, we’re impacting very few customers.”
The project has been in development for over five years, and when complete, will be used to transport natural gas across the Maumee River for homes and businesses in Maumee, Perrysburg and South Toledo. The upgrade is also necessary as it ensures adequate gas supply for all of Northwest Ohio in case of extreme weather.
The work will upgrade an existing 12-inch uncoated steel natural gas pipeline dating to the 1940s, with a new 20-inch coated steel line.
“(The current line) has had some issues with leakage, and nothing lasts forever,” Kozak said. “It’s uncoated steel in the ground, and there is a shelf life for steel in the ground, so it’s time to replace and upgrade. We do try to be proactive from a sense of providing reliable service.”
The length is also substantial, as 5,300 feet will be replaced in all, 2,000 of which will be directionally bored 30 to 40 feet beneath the Maumee River. The directional bore will take about a month, with both sides being worked on at the same time. Kozak anticipates “upwards of 30 people involved with this project on a daily basis when it’s all up and running.”
Its location presents some historical considerations, as it’s relatively close to Fort Meigs in Perrysburg and Fallen Timbers in Maumee. As a result, Columbia Gas will have an archeologist on site during the project should they chance upon, for example, arrowheads, cannonballs or muskets.
“Anything we find will go back to the municipality. Those entities will give them to the historical societies,” Kozak said. “It’s a pretty high likelihood we’re going to encounter something.”
The project was also re-routed to avoid a cemetery few know is even there, according to JD Justus, who serves on the board of the newly opened Perrysburg Area Historical Museum.
“I saw the original drawing plans in the newspaper and contacted them (Columbia),” Justus said. “They had no knowledge of this cemetery whatsoever. I laid out the boundaries for them, and they altered some of the gas line to avoid the majority of the cemetery. They’ve been fantastic. They bent over backwards.”
The original line – which will be retired at this project’s end – was not directionally bored, but “open cut” using machinery and set across the river bed. Horizontal directional boring helps minimize impact on the surroundings.
Site work started this week, with completion set for late October. The pipeline’s lifespan is expected to triple that of the existing line, according to a news release.
Tags: Chris Kozak, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Fallen Timbers, Fort Meigs, gas line, JD Justus, Maumee, Maumee River, Maumee River Crossing Project, natural gas, Perrysburg, Perrysburg Area Historical Museum, pipeline, replacement, upgrade