By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
During the next four months, Columbia Gas will be replacing natural gas lines in the downtown Bowling Green area – affecting more than 110 customers and disrupting traffic along Main Street.
In an effort to explain the construction project, Columbia Gas officials will hold a community meeting with Bowling Green citizens on Monday, May 21, at 6 p.m., in the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St.
The work area is primarily on Main Street, from Clay Street to Ordway Avenue, but will extend down certain side streets, alleys, and into parking lots.
The gas line work will begin in early June, and is expected to be completed by October.
Cheri Pastula, communications manager for Columbia Gas, said the project is part of many upgrades being done to prevent problems with aging lines. The bare steel lines will be replaced with plastic pipes.
The Bowling Green project was moved up to this year, Pastula said, since the city is planning major streetscape work in the downtown next year.
“We decided to do it this year before the city does its roads,” so the street work will not need to be disturbed, she said.
During the community meeting, Columbia Gas officials will address how the project will affect residents:
- Columbia Gas contractors will work street by street to install new main lines and service lines up to each customer’s home or building.
- Gas service will not be impacted until it is time for Columbia Gas to connect the customer to the new gas system at their meter. For most customers, gas service will be interrupted for approximately two hours. Customers will get advance notice of this service interruption.
- If the gas meter is currently inside, it will be moved outside.
- Any surface that has to be disturbed will be repaired by Columbia Gas. This includes sidewalks, driveways, lawns and landscaping.
- Once this work is complete, customers will have a gas system with state of the art safety features.
During the construction, Columbia Gas will make efforts to not shut down any streets. However, lanes will be reduced and flaggers will be on hand, Pastula said.
“There most likely will be some traffic disruption,” she said. “But we try not to close down the roads.”
Columbia Gas of Ohio has invested more than $1.5 billion in communities around the state to replace aging gas lines over the last decade. This is paying off in safety, with leaks reduced by 40 percent, according to the company.
Residents can contact Raquel Colon, external affairs specialist for Columbia Gas of Ohio, with questions or concerns at 419-351-8398 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.columbiagasohio.com/replacement for more information on the construction process.