Frozen pipes prompt Lansingburgh gas line replacement
With spring in full bloom and summer steadily approaching, the last thing on people’s minds is winter. They certainly are not thinking about frozen gas pipes, and that is exactly what the residents of Lansingburgh had to contend with last winter when over 250 gallons of water leaked into the aging gas infrastructure, causing service interruptions.
Our crews have begun work in Lansingburgh, New York, a town just north of Albany, to replace 5 ½ miles of cast iron main pipe with Polyethylene (PE) pipe over the next 4 years. The project, which will cost roughly $4.3 million to complete, was given a priority status after outages this winter left 56 customers without service for a few days. Pete Rossi, gas construction senior supervisor on the project, is optimistic about the end result of the replacement.
“Some of these pipes that we are replacing are 50, 60 years old, and we were pumping hundreds of gallons of water out of them from leaks caused by rust,” Rossi said. “Short-term, there is more up front cost to replace these pipes with PE, but long-term, we are providing greater reliability and far less service interruptions for our customers. That saves everyone money.”
National Grid has an aggressive plan for upgrading gas lines across upstate New York to provide greater reliability for years to come for its customers, and a meeting with town officials and local residents in March placed this project into that program as a high-priority item.
“The residents have been really great during this process, and have been very friendly to our crew out here,” said Rossi, adding that a local catering company, The Old Daley Inn, has been surprising them with sandwiches while they worked.
“It’s the least we could do for these guys,” said Jeff Michael, The Old Daley Inn head chef. “They’re out here fixing the problem, and that’s great for all of us.”
National Grid is utilizing a state-of-the-art directional drill to create space underground for the pipes to be placed, minimizing the amount of digging and replanting of grass that would be needed.
“The crew is really going the extra mile to make sure the lawns look good for the holiday,” said Rossi, referring to the clean-up of the site for the Memorial Day weekend. “I think the residents appreciate that.”
This segment of the project will have crews working through the summer to replace 1.53 miles of pipe. Similar work will be completed in the area over the next three years to replace the other 4 miles. The project will be completed in 2018.