Work began this week on a project by Montana-Dakota Utilities to install a new natural gas main up the Nevada Hill in Lovell.
MDU District Representative Shane Pitt said the project is needed because an under drain the town is installing to drain groundwater as part of the current South Phase of the water and sewer infrastructure project would cut into MDU’s current main and service lines, which are too shallow to work with the planned new road base and under drain system.
Added Frank Page of DOWL/HKM Engineering, “The gas lines are being lowered so they won’t be in the way of the under drain system and the road base, and for safety.”
The new lines will run from Eighth Street below the hill to just beyond 10th Street atop the hill. New plastic pipe will replace the steel pipe that was installed in 1965, Pitt said, noting that MDU replaced lines throughout the town in 1964-65.
Trenching on the project began Tuesday, and the project will take two to three weeks, Pitt said. The main will run six feet off the east side of the street.
Pitt said there will be no major service interruptions, noting that MDU will complete and air test the new lines, then tie into the existing main and “gas everything up,” purging the air out of the system.
Service lines will be bored onto residents’ property, under yards, driveways and the like, so some spots will be “blocked a little bit” during that process, Pitt said.
“We hope to finish boring by the end of this week or early next week,” he said, using a TCT West “boring crew.”
“We won’t have to tear up yards,” he said, noting that the boring process will leave one short trench at each home for the riser and a meter set that includes the meter and regulator.
“I will make appointments with customers as I can to tie over to the new lines,” Pitt said. “Service will be out for an hour to an hour and a half, and I will re-light everything in the homes.”
By David Peck