New gas lines going in around Norwood

The beginning of the 2014 construction season is still at least a month away, depending on weather conditions, but folks in the east end of Marietta’s Norwood district have been seeing some earth movement as Dominion East Ohio has already started replacing natural gas lines in that area.

“They’ve been working in the neighborhood for about a week now and just finished marking off Grant Street,” said Henry Schmedes, a 40-year resident of the Grant Street area.

Although Dominion East is installing new plastic lines there, he said the metal gas lines have served him well over the years.

“We’ve never had a problem with those metal lines,” Schmedes said.

Nearby on Sheridan Street Verna Holden noted the gas line work had to be done.

“Our neighbors had some problems with their gas line this winter and their yard was dug up,” she said. “(Dominion East) was going to patch the line, but now they’ve decided to replace it with plastic.”

Gas line replacement began early in Marietta this year due largely to an extremely frigid winter, according to Neil Durbin, senior communications specialist with Dominion East Ohio.

“Originally Dominion East Ohio had planned to replace a total of 600 feet of pipeline on Sheridan and Grant streets within the city, beginning in April. However, because of water leaking into the lines, freezing up and causing sporadic service interruptions during the current colder-than-normal temperatures, the company decided to expedite the project’s construction schedule,” he said.

Durbin said the company replaced 200 feet of pipeline on Sheridan Friday and plans to begin construction Wednesday on the remainder of the $200,000 project.

He said construction on that portion of the project should be completed, weather permitting, within the next two to three weeks.

“We’re replacing steel lines with plastic, which is much more durable,” Durbin said, noting some of the company’s original gas lines date back to 1898.

In 2008 Dominion East began a $4 billion, 25-year project to upgrade 5,500 miles of its total 22,000 miles of pipeline in Ohio.

The company will be working for some time in the Marietta area, according to Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward.

“It’s very important for neighborhoods to know where Dominion gas work is going on,” he said.

Due to the earlier-than-anticipated work in the east Norwood neighborhood, customers did not receive advance notice of the line replacement, but Durbin said the company normally gives some prior notice before the work is to be done. He said Dominion East would try to provide advance notification as the gas line replacement project progresses in Marietta.

In addition to the work on Sheridan and Grant streets, Dominion East will also be replacing lines along areas of Greene, Chestnut, Holly, Spring, Vine, and Aurora streets, as well as on Sunset and Becker lanes, Theis and Oakwood avenues, Euclid Place and Colegate Drive this year.

Durbin said a schedule for replacement of those lines has not been determined at this time.