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Columbia Gas to upgrade service lines in Pine

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Columbia Gas has begun a nearly $2 million pipeline project in Pine.

By early summer, 53 customers will see new natural gas pipes installed along their roads for service to their homes

“We're making a significant investment to replace the natural gas pipelines in different neighborhoods so that we can continue to provide reliable and safe service,” said Lee Gierczynski, Columbia Gas spokesperson.

The replacement of 7,400 feet of pipe will affect customers along Warrendale-Bakerstown Road and Franklin Road.

The work is part of Columbia Gas investing more than $260 million this year to uprade its Pennsylvania infrastructure.

“It may also include replacing customer service lines, or if a customer has an indoor gas meter, then that would be relocated to the outside of the home,” Gierczynski said. “Those would be done at no additional cost to customers.”

Customers will be notified at least three days in advance either in person or via a door hanger. All Columbia Gas crew members will be wearing a photo identification, Gierczynski said. Service interruptions will last for several hours.

After the transfer, Gierczynski said, “crews will need access to the customer's home to perform a safety check and to re-light their natural gas appliances.”

The company is replacing mostly steel pipes with plastic ones.

“(The steel pipes) have served customers well for decades. They're just starting to reach the end of their useful life,” Gierczynski said. “These newer pipes will last for several generations. They're more reliable, and they'll last longer than steel pipes.”

Pine Township Manager Scott Anderson said residents along Route 910 near Church Road experienced similar utility-line replacements several years years ago. “We had very few complaints,” he said.

As for other utility upgrades planned in the township this summer, Anderson said the West View Water Authority will be replacing lines along Dean Road.

Most utility lines in Pine Township are fairly new, Anderson said, as development did not boom until Interstate 279 connected Pittsburgh to Allegheny County's northern suburbs in the late 1980s.

Anderson expects no difficulties.

Ashley Murray is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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