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Published: Thursday, 6/27/2013

Gas main replacement progresses in W. Toledo


Gas main replacement that started this week along part of Central Avenue marked the start of one of two such projects in West Toledo that are part of a broader upgrade of the Columbia Gas network, a utility spokesman said.

Jason Copsey, a utility spokesman, said the work that has closed Central's right lane in both directions just east of Jackman Road could be finished as soon as Friday, although stormy weather could stretch that into next week. But work along nearby portions of Auburn Avenue, Jermain Drive, and North Cove Boulevard will continue afterward, he said.

Because the lane closings on Central are just east of an Ohio Department of Transportation work zone on Central at I-475, Columbia's work should not cause additional traffic delays, Mr. Copsey said.

Overall, Columbia plans to replace nearly 5,000 feet of gas mains in the Jermain Drive area at a cost of $255,000, while replacement of an undisclosed length of mains in an area bounded roughly by Sylvania Avenue and Jackman, Mansfield, and Sherbrooke roads will cost about $3.6 million.

Work on the latter project will start during July, Mr. Copsey said. In both areas, specially designed plastic pipe will replace existing steel pipe.

Overall, Columbia plans to spend $2 billion over 25 years to replace 19,000 miles of underground pipe. At the same time, Columbia will install new outdoor gas meters at homes whose meters now are indoors, so that meter readings may be taken without requiring entry.

About 125 Columbia customers will be affected by the Jermain project, according to a company statement, while Mr. Copsey said the larger project to the west will involve just under 1,000 utility customers.

Service might be interrupted temporarily at the affected homes and businesses, but letters will be sent before that occurs and Columbia representatives will then attempt to visit all affected properties before shutoff and to schedule service restoration.

Gas-meter replacements will be done at no cost to customers, the utility said.

All Columbia representatives and contractors seeking entry to homes and businesses carry company photo identification that they will display on request. Residents should be careful to demand identification from any stranger asking to enter their homes.

Mr. Copsey said he had no information about a separate gas-line project that the Toledo Division of Transportation announced Monday. On Berdan Avenue, the eastbound right lane is closed until mid-to-late August between Jeep Parkway and Detroit Avenue for what the city said was a "natural gas line (utility) improvement."

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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