City government

PG&E to replace 3,200 feet of steel pipe under Olive Drive

By From page A1 | May 18, 2012

Work is under way to replace 3,200 feet of natural gas distribution pipe underneath Olive Drive, between Interstate 80 and the Richards Boulevard intersection. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

It appears that PG&E isn’t concerned only about its distribution pipeline underneath the Stonegate subdivision in Davis.

About a month after it finished a project in Stonegate that replaced more than 2,000 feet of plastic natural gas distribution and service line pipe, the utility has embarked on a similar effort along Olive Drive, this time replacing more than 3,200 feet of steel pipe with plastic.

The project is taking place on Olive Drive between the offramp on Interstate 80 through the intersection at Richards Boulevard. PG&E expects to finish the project by July 31, weather permitting.

Olive Drive residents and businesses have not experienced a recent spate of gas leaks, as was the case in Stonegate. PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers said this work is part of a different initiative to upgrade the utility’s system.

“We are taking a closer look at our distribution pipeline system, because nothing is more important than the safety of our (customers),” Ehlers said.

“This is part of an ongoing upgrade process to replace steel with plastic pipe because it is more flexible and durable.”

PG&E crews already have dug up part of the road, at times reducing traffic flow to one lane. However, Ehlers said the project should not cause a bottleneck at the busy Olive/Richards intersection, as crews plan to perform most of that work through the night.

Olive Drive customers may experience brief interruptions in service, the utility said.

At the end of the project, natural gas will be vented from the pipeline, which the utility wants residents to know is normal procedure.

“The smell of natural gas and the sound of venting may be noticeable to nearby homes and businesses, depending on wind direction, but natural gas will quickly dissipate into the atmosphere and will not be harmful,” a news release said.

Anyone who has concerns about natural gas odors in or around their home or business should call PG&E at (800) 743-5000.

More than 80 gas leaks have been reported in the past five years in Stonegate, which PG&E says have all been addressed. There are no future plans for replacement projects in Stonegate or in any other part of the city, the utility said.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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