ShareThis Page

Pipeline improvement project puts Pleasant Hills residents on edge

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

Three neighbors from Delano Drive led the discussion after Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania officials explained summer plans to replace gas lines and move meters in Pleasant Hills Borough.

A public meeting was held last week for residents' questions. About 100 of those affected by the $2.5 million pipeline improvement project filled the community room. Those who live on East Bruceton, Old Clairton Boulevard and Carly, Delano, National, Columbia and Winifred drives all had been notified about the meeting by mail.

Gil Fitzsimmons of Delano Drive said he had spent thousands of dollars rectifying work that had been done by other companies engaged in community improvements. The installation of new sewer lines a few years ago left him with a sinking backyard, a problem he still shares with Jack Schanck and Judd Gordon, who live nearby.

“When it rains, it's a birdbath,” Fitzsimmons said.

A road project forced him to lay in French drains when water flooded his driveway. He was skeptical about what Columbia Gas was planning.

Schanck had concerns about the new gas line he had installed at his home about 10 years ago. Others in the audience talked about the noise factor of the digging or the loss of mature trees as the new mainline is placed in the easement of their front yards 2 to 10 feet away from the curb, the first step in the project.

Work could start at the end of May or early June and end in December. Gas officials have not selected which street would be first.

New meters will be relocated to the sides of houses and then connected to the mainline via plastic pipe. It is the rusted cast iron versus new, flexible plastic conduits, which is one of the driving forces behind the work as the company gears up to serve future generations.

Pipe updates began across Pennsylvania in 2007, said Brynnly Schwartz, communications and community relations specialist from Columbia Gas, when neighborhoods were selected. The age and composition of the pipes, soil types and the number of leaks to existing lines also were considered.

She emphasized a major benefit: New service line with no out-of-pocket costs. Also, 40 percent of the project's investment will be dedicated to restoration of the customers' property.

Moving the gas lines and meters nearer the streets also will give the company easier access.

Construction coordinator Mike Kendra will visit each home to alert residents to the start of work on their street.

Promising minimal mess, he added, “We want to do it right.”

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.