New Clarkston-area natural gas line about one-quarter complete   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Washington, Natural Gas, Infrastructure upgrades

New line will reinforce gas service to Clarkston area customers; Safety lighting along trail a welcome public benefit

Post by Dan Kolbet

Pipe install
Welding pipe
Natural gas pipeline installation includes welding
sections of steel pipe together. The new line will
help reinforcegas service to Avista customers in
the Clarkston area.
Since mid-July Avista contract crews have been working on a 2.8-mile natural gas line extension in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley that will help reinforce gas service to Avista customers in the Clarkston area.

The new six-inch steel high pressure natural gas line is being installed on the Clarkston, Wash., side of the Snake River and will be fed through an existing line from Lewiston, Idaho. The project comes with several unique challenges, such as shoreline work, trenching along a popular nature trail, and accessing land managed by the Army Corp. of Engineers and Department of Transportation. Crews have also hit unexpected sections of buried rock, which slowed trenching work.

Recently Avista also had to monitor a portion of the project located underneath the Southway Bridge for cultural artifacts. An archaeologist was onsite during construction to observe the pipeline installation, but found no cultural artifacts.

Associate Gas Engineer David Smith, who is managing the project, said that 4,100 feet of pipe has been installed so far. That’s about 28 percent of the total expected length of the project.

Avista customers and area residents have expressed positive feelings about the project according the Regional Business Manager Mike Tatko who has spoken about the project at several community events.

An additional benefit of the project to customers and the public came in the form of safety lighting on the Greenbelt Trail, a popular recreation area, where the new line is being installed. In order to install the new pipeline, Avista needed to access land managed by the Army Corp of Engineers. As in-kind consideration in lieu of fees for conducting this project, Avista will install 46 lights along the trail from Chestnut Beach to Swallows Boat Ramp parking lot, at an approximate cost of $71,500. The new lights, to be installed later this year, will improve the safety of visitors who use the Greenbelt Trail.

"We are pleased to partner with the Corps to install safety lighting along the Greenbelt Trail as a part of our natural gas pipeline project," Tatko said. “Keeping funds for this project local in the form of new trail lighting is a very visible benefit to Avista customers and all area residents who use the trail."

Installation of the pipeline is expected to be complete in November.

After the line is complete, it will be pressure tested at 1.5 times its normal pressure before natural gas is allowed to flow. It’s a check to ensure the line has no leaks and is safe for use.
Posted by  System Account  on  9/13/2011
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