It's a new year, with a new list of projects ahead for UA.

It's a new year, with a new list of projects ahead for UA.

Just when you thought the Lane Avenue area had had its share of infrastructure activity, Columbia Gas is planning to embark on a main pipeline replacement project. Fortunately, from what we understand, much of the work will be undertaken in the grassy medians of the public rights of way for each impacted street, so we anticipate little in the way of lane restrictions or detours.

The project at hand is the Northwest Boulevard Pipeline Improvement project. Affected streets include Lane Avenue east of Brandon Road, Northwest Boulevard from Lane to Essex, and portions of Berkshire, Brandon, Ashdowne, North Star, Cardiff, Doone, Essex, Harford and Beaumont roads. This is to essentially disconnect the old, deteriorating main line on Lane Avenue and replace it with a new main line that runs along a number of neighborhood streets, away from the busy arterial.

A smaller service line for the immediate area will be installed along Lane Avenue, along with the replacement and upgrades for a number of other smaller service lines on the streets primarily south of Lane.

For many, the work will involve running new service lines up to homes, and the relocation of interior gas meters to the outside. At each stage in the process, Columbia Gas representatives will contact residents in advance -- to locate any sprinkler systems or invisible fences before work begins, to determine the best location for the new meter, and in advance of making the service transfer.

The work has been timed to accommodate some city infrastructure projects already planned for 2013, such as the second phase of a water line replacement and roadway reconstruction project for Berkshire Road, and Lane Avenue resurfacing. The Lane Avenue portion of the project is expected to last approximately 30 days, weather permitting.

The Brandon, Berkshire and North Star portion of work -- which is to install the new main line -- is expected to last approximately 90 days. A timeline for the remaining streets is pending.

Surveying and other advance preparations for this project began this week, with actual construction tentatively scheduled to begin the week of Jan. 21. A public meeting has been scheduled for residents and businesses in the area, for the evening of Thursday, Jan. 17. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. Columbia Gas representatives will provide an overview of the work to be performed and answer any questions or concerns that residents may have.

We have posted additional information on this project on our website, under the Headlines section of the homepage. As work gets under way, we will also be relaying timely updates relative to any impact on traffic. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Division at 614-583-5360 or contact my office at 614-583-5040.

Keeping sidewalks clear of snow

Navigating the community on foot can be hazardous in winter, especially for the elderly or those with disabilities. Let's all do our part to make our community safer for pedestrians by keeping sidewalks in front of your home or business clear of snow and ice.

If you have elderly neighbors, take the few extra moments necessary to clear their sidewalks, too.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.