Gas Main Line 68 Replacement Project
Dominion Energy is replacing 2.44 miles of pipe we call Main Line 68 in Rifle, Colorado near Graham Mesa Elementary, Colorado Mountain College and Western Slope Trailer Sales & RV Center.
Work will take place both in city streets and in easements on private property. The replacement will mostly occur parallel to our existing pipeline. Replacement of this section is expected to take 12 weeks to complete. Final inspection and testing of the pipe, as well as any associated cleanup, will be finished by the end of September.
This webpage provides general information about the project as well as current information on construction activity and related impacts on local traffic.
Overview and Schedule
NEED for the project: We are committed to providing safe, reliable natural gas transportation service at the lowest possible cost. In recent years, as part of our continuing efforts to maintain and enhance overall system integrity, we have begun replacing sections of our underground pipeline system. We will be replacing older pipe with modern, newer, and stronger pipe.
LOCATION: The section of ML68 slated for replacement is located in Rifle, Colorado. To expedite construction, multiple crews will be working simultaneously at various locations during the project. Crews may also work on weekends.
CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE: Allowing for weather and other demands, construction is scheduled to begin May 6, 2019, and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2019.
QUESTIONS: For questions, concerns, additional information, or to sign up to receive weekly construction updates, call the Main Line 68 information line at 801-324-5521. Or you can email us and reference Main Line 68.
July 18, 2019 – RIFLE, Colo.: Major construction work on the project concludes this week. While there is still some testing to be completed, most of the work remaining will consist of cleanup and restoration of areas where we’ve been working.
Thanks to Rifle-area residents for your patience and cooperation.
June 20, 2019 - Rifle, Colorado: Work continues south of Airport Road and around Graham Mesa Elementary. On the Graham Mesa segment, construction crews are expected to finish all boring under the roads by the end of the week. Crews will continue working in and around the open pipe trench. On the Airport Road segment, crews will be performing work such as re-seeding the right-of-way, placing permanent pipeline markers and creating a walking path near Colorado Mountain College. Traffic control will be utilized. No delays are expected. Please use caution and obey traffic signs.
June 13, 2019 - Rifle, Colorado: Work continues south of Airport Road and around Graham Mesa Elementary. Crews will start moving away from Colorado Mountain College in the next few days, until they need to come back through for final project cleanup. On the Graham Mesa Elementary segment, work in and around the open trench will continue, and boring underneath roads will be occurring. Traffic control will be utilized. No delays are expected, please use caution and obey traffic signs.
Dominion Energy and our contractor, Hanging H Companies, are committed to completing this project safely and on schedule while minimizing as much as possible any inconvenience to local businesses and residents. To accomplish this, some work may be performed at night and on weekends. This will reduce impacts on morning and evening commutes. We will adhere to all county noise-reduction ordinances.
For pipe buried beneath streets or highways, construction may require intermittent closures of one or more lanes of traffic. Driveways also may be occasionally blocked by excavation work, otherwise they will be plated to maintain access during business hours and at night and on weekends.
Before construction starts in front of any home or business, a representative will contact the owner or resident to discuss options for maintaining driveway access. Signs notifying the public that businesses remain open during construction are available.
To finish construction on schedule and as quickly as possible, the project is divided into sections, or "spreads." This allows multiple crews to work simultaneously at different locations. Work zones can range from a single intersection to several blocks long. At any one location the amount of time to cut pavement, install new pipe and replace asphalt can range from several days to several weeks.
The public can do its part to ensure construction proceeds safely and on time by finding alternative routes, driving carefully in construction zones and keeping children away from construction sites.
Dominion Energy works closely with city and state transportation officials to ensure safety and minimize inconvenience to drivers and pedestrians. However, for public safety it may be necessary to temporarily close streets and sidewalks or restrict vehicle and pedestrian traffic. As mentioned, driveways may occasionally be blocked by excavation work. We will make every effort to keep these inconveniences as brief as possible. Your patience is appreciated.
If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.
Steps During Construction
Following are brief descriptions of the steps involved in pipeline removal and construction:
- Locate buried utilities - The area below city streets can be a maze of underground utilities. To avoid damaging these facilities, a procedure known as potholing is used prior to trenching to identify the exact vertical and horizontal location of existing infrastructure, including the pipeline to be replaced.
- Move existing utilities - Before trenching (see next step), all water and natural gas service lines that cross the existing pipe will be moved to a lower depth. This will minimize the risk of interrupting water- or gas-service to individual homes or businesses once actual construction begins.
- Dig trench - After the pipe has been located and purged of gas and service lines in the trench zone moved, the pavement above the existing pipe is cut and removed. Then equipment is brought in to dig the trench. The depth of the natural gas pipeline trench will be determined by the location of the existing pipe and other utilities. As the trench is dug, the soil is loaded into trucks and hauled away for disposal in a designated landfill.
- Remove old pipe - Sections of pipe to be removed are cut into lengths, lifted from the trench, loaded onto trucks and hauled away for proper disposal.
- Deliver and "string" new pipe - New pipe is manufactured and inspected to ensure it meets industry and federal safety standards. Pipe sections are then delivered by truck to the construction site where they are placed end-to-end (or "strung") on skids adjacent to the trench. If necessary, a hydraulic machine bends pipe sections to fit around obstacles or conform to the direction of the trench.
- Weld new pipe together and coat - Welding crews join the sections of pipe together into a continuous length. Each welded joint is visually inspected, x-rayed and then coated for protection.
- Lower pipe into trench - Using one or more tractors, crews lift and then carefully lower the welded sections of pipe into the trench. Final welds are made to "tie-in" any unconnected sections.
- Backfill trench - Under streets, in place of the removed soil, a mixture known as "flowable fill" is used to backfill the trench. In other areas, the original soil is replaced.
- Pressure test new pipe - After it's buried and before it's put into service, the entire length of new pipe is hydrostatically tested to ensure the integrity of the system. This is done by filling the pipe with water, pressurizing the system above its maximum operating conditions and holding the pressure for a specified time. The pipe is drained, cleaned and dried before put into service.
- Clean-up and restore ROW - The final step is to repair the surface over the trench. If necessary, fences or sod may also be replaced.
- Directional bore - At some busy intersections, most water crossings and under major roads, instead of trenching, crews will install pipe by boring horizontally underneath the road, stream or canal. The boring machine drills a hole from one side of the road or stream. Pipe is strung on the other side and then pulled back through hole.
We take safety seriously. Since its founding in 1929, our company and its affiliates have engaged in every phase of natural gas service, from production and gathering to transportation and distribution. During that time, while delivering the clean and efficient natural gas our customers rely on daily for their comfort and livelihood, we have earned an enviable record for safety and reliability.
- Visit our Safety section on this site for more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this project necessary?
At Dominion Energy, we are committed to providing safe, reliable natural gas service at the lowest possible cost.
In recent years, as part of our continuing efforts to meet growing demand for natural gas while improving overall system integrity, we have begun replacing vital sections of our underground pipeline system serving the Wasatch Front. In most cases we are replacing older pipe with newer, stronger and larger diameter pipe.
These new pipelines carry more supplies, enabling us to better serve the growing number of new homes and businesses in Utah.
They also enhance safety and reliability by making our system easier to monitor and maintain. Some of the older sections of our system have pipe in varying diameters, ranging from six to 20 inches. Replacing these with pipe of the same diameter makes them accessible to "smart tools. These tools -- commonly known as "pigs" -- use MRI technology to inspect the pipe interior, making it possible to detect and correct potential problems before they occur.
Will my natural gas service be affected by construction?
No. Redundancies in our system should make it possible to replace the existing pipeline without interrupting service to any customers.
Will construction affect my property?
If your property is on or adjacent to the right-of-way, you will receive prior notification by mail alerting you to construction. We work closely with residents and city officials to minimize potential impacts on residents' property. If we do need to access its legal right-of-way to work on or near your property, the company will make reasonable efforts to ensure the landscape is returned as closely as possible to its previous state. This does not include replacement, repair or compensation for unauthorized structures, plants, objects and etc. currently located within the right-of-way.
Residents can make the process easier by making sure that items such as large, deep-rooted trees, concrete slabs, sheds, fences or other structures do not encroach upon our right-of-way. These items not only violate right-of-way policy but also pose a safety hazard and may hinder our ability to reach our pipeline in case of emergency or to perform necessary maintenance.
For more information about what is and is not allowed on pipeline rights-of-way, request a company brochure by contacting a representative at 801-324-3149 or view our brochure.
Will streets be closed or access to private driveways restricted during construction?
Construction may require temporary lane closures and/or detours. During construction, we strive to maintain traffic in both directions on city streets at all times, however temporary lane restrictions can be expected.
Private driveways and access to side streets and business parking lots may also occasionally be temporarily blocked by excavation work. When not in use, open trenches will be plated to maintain access during business hours, at night and on weekends.
Any changes in traffic or access will be kept to a minimum and will be as brief as possible.
Before construction starts in front of your home or business, a company representative will contact you to discuss where you would like access maintained. Signs notifying the public that businesses are open during construction will be made available for those who request them.
For the latest information on traffic impacts and lane restrictions, visit this site or email us to receive weekly construction updates by email.
Residents can reduce the risk of accidents by driving carefully in construction zones and keeping children away from the construction site. We work closely with city and state transportation officials to ensure safety and minimize inconvenience to drivers and pedestrians during construction.
Whom can I contact if I have questions or concerns?
Call our information line at 801-324-5521, or email us and reference Main Line 68.