Bexley residents on certain streets can expect to get a knock on their door from Columbia Gas employees in the next few weeks.

Bexley residents on certain streets can expect to get a knock on their door from Columbia Gas employees in the next few weeks.

The workers will be asking to see gas meters, an effort that is leading up to four major pipeline improvement projects in the Bexley area which are scheduled to be completed this year.

Columbia Gas will replace more than 9 miles of natural gas mainline and 2,000 customer service lines in the neighborhood with specially designed plastic pipe. Work is scheduled to begin March 1.

"We can do a lot of the work during the day while you're not home, but eventually we'll need to get inside," said Mike Schwieterman, Columbia Gas of Ohio Construction Services project manager, as part of a Feb. 6 public meeting in the Bexley Public Library auditorium.

The Ruhl Avenue and Lowell Road project covers an area south of Allegheny Street, north of Maryland Avenue, east of Stanwood Road and west of James Road. The Cassingham Road and Ruhl Avenue project covers an area south of Delmar Drive, north of Maryland Avenue, east of Cassady Avenue and west of Gould Road. The Roosevelt Avenue and Powell Avenue project covers an area south of Broad Street, north of Fair Avenue, east of Remington Road and west of South Chesterfield Road. The Pleasant Ridge project covers an area from Pleasant Ridge Avenue from Astor Avenue to Francis Avenue.

Residents will receive a notification letter prior to construction. Columbia Gas employees and contractors who make contact with residents should have identification cards with their name, photograph and identification number.

In homes where gas meters are located in basements, residents can expect the meters to be relocated outside, which eliminates the risk of shut-off due to access issues and provides first responders easy access to meters during emergencies.

Older meters, which are often green, will be painted a uniform gray to match newer meters and blend in with homes' exteriors, Schwieterman said.

"There are times when we will change it out, but most of the time we will reuse (the existing meter)," Schwieterman said.

The construction shouldn't affect roads, driveways or sidewalks, but when it does, Columbia Gas will return pavement to its original condition.

"The road should not be touched," Schwieterman said. "Our goal is to be in the tree lawn between the road and your private property."

During construction, streets will have "floating" no-parking zones, said Bob Cook, Columbia Gas Construction Services leader. The company will try not to schedule any work during big events when parking is limited, such as the Fourth of July celebration.

"We try to work with the residents and contractors and make it as least disruptive as possible," said city Auditor Bill Harvey, who previously served as the city's service director, and represented the city at the Feb. 6 meeting.

Cook said he cannot specify when work will begin on each street, but said he encourages residents to look for flags placed on streets and workers videotaping sewers as signs that work is about to begin.

The $5.4-million price tag for the project is being paid by a $5 monthly fee that all Columbia Gas customers in the state pay for infrastructure improvements, Schwieterman said.

"It's shared costs through all of our customers in Ohio," he said.

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