Columbia Gas' pipe-replacement project will affect 140 customers, but no road closures likely

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
The intersection of North High Street and Dublin-Granville Road in Worthington is shown May 11. Columbia Gas of Ohio has a scheduled project to upgrade gas-line infrastructure north of the intersection that will affect approximately 140 customers in Worthington, according to company officials.

Columbia Gas of Ohio's scheduled project to upgrade gas-line infrastructure in Worthington north of the intersection of North High Street and East and West Dublin-Granville roads will affect approximately 140 customers in Worthington, according to company officials.

However, road closures are not expected, though there could be temporary lane restrictions, said city spokesperson Anne Brown.

The project, which was scheduled to begin the week of May 17, weather permitting, primarily consists of replacing existing service lines with approximately 7,400 feet of new plastic pipe and has a three- to four-month timetable for completion, weather permitting and excluding other unforeseen circumstances, according to Columbia Gas external-affairs specialist Luka Papalko.

Affected areas include High Street between (state Route 161) and North Street, North Street between Oxford and Hartford streets, a portion of Hartford Street south of North Street, East Stafford Avenue between Oxford and High streets, Oxford Street between (state Route 161) and North Street and northwest Village Green Drive, according to Worthington’s website.

“This project is a part of our larger, statewide infrastructure-replacement program where we go in and replace cast-iron, bare steel, aging (and) deteriorating pipe with new, higher-functioning, safer plastic pipe,” Papalko said.

He said crews also would upgrade the system pressure from low pressure to medium pressure.

“So not only is there further development, customers on the end of the service can support things like a natural-gas backup generator, as well as this can help push out any water or anything that’s in the line a lot better than say a low-pressure line,” Papalko said.

Other project objectives include relocating customers’ indoor gas meters to the outside of the property to enable easier access to the meter for first responders in the event of an emergency and installing excess flow valves that can stem the flow of natural gas if a service line is damaged, according to a company news release.

At some point during the construction period, Papalko said, crews would need to interrupt service to a customers’ property and access the property when they replace the service line that runs from Columbia Gas’ system to the home or property.

In that event, he said, workers will get in touch with the customer ahead of time to go over what’s to be expected and schedule an appropriate time to do the work.

“When that happens, it’s typically for about half a day (that service will be interrupted), and the company will coordinate any work with the customer,” Papalko said. 

According to the company news release, crews will take all necessary safety precautions when entering and working in a customer’s home.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia Gas employees and contractors are taking proactive steps to keep our customers, employees and contractor partners safe,” the release said. “If crews need to enter a home or business to complete essential work, please know employees and contractors are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including assessing their health daily, wearing a face covering in accordance with state orders, maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance during their work, using additional protective gear when needed and cleaning work surfaces.”

Customers may contact Papalko at lpapalko@nisource.com or 614-420-1376 with any questions or concerns, according to the company news release.

For more information, go to columbiagasohio.com/replacement or worthington.org

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve