Pipeline operator Williams says local upgrades should be finished this weekend.

Last updated: April 22. 2013 2:34PM - 459 Views

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Upgrades to the Transco interstate pipeline in Kingston Township and West Wyoming are expected to wrap up this weekend, according to pipeline operator Williams.
Over the past three weeks, crews have been excavating and replacing 2,100 feet of pipeline between Carverton Road in Kingston Township and Shoemaker Avenue in West Wyoming. The pipeline segment runs through a mountainous, mostly wooded area roughly parallel to Eighth Street.
Transco spokesman Christopher Stockton said Williams hopes to bring the pipeline back online by Saturday.
Stockton said population growth around the pipeline made the upgrade necessary.
The section, installed in 1958, was built to Class Two location specifications according to four-tier scale used by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Williams recently determined the region surrounding the pipeline is now in a Class Three zone. The highest classification, Class Four, is for urban areas where buildings of more than three stories are prevalent.
“All pipelines are required to have an integrity management program,” Stockton said. “And as part of that … every year we go and analyze the population growth around the pipelines that we operate. We’ll do house counts; we’ll actually count the number of houses in the vicinity of the pipelines that we operate.”
The Department of Transportation defines a Class Two location as having between 11 and 45 buildings intended for human occupancy less than 220 yards from the pipeline in any one-mile stretch.
A Class Three location has 46 or more buildings in the same stretch. The classifications determine minimum pipe thickness based on the likelihood someone might accidentally strike the pipeline during excavation work. Stockton said the new, 24-inch pipeline will be about 1/2 inch in thickness.
During replacement work, gas flowing through the pipeline has been redirected through two other sections of the Transco passing through southern Luzerne County, Stockton said.
The pipeline divides into two sections in Columbia County and links up again near Route 115 in Bear Creek Township.
Two pipelines wind through the southern portion of the county, passing north of Berwick and below Mountain Top, while the section under construction passes north through Dallas Township, Kingston Township and West Wyoming.
Kingston Township Zoning Officer Bill Eck said rumors have been circulating that the project is part of another pipeline, UGI Energy Services’ Auburn Pipeline project, but those rumors are not true.
UGI informed the township of its plans for the pipeline last year and will present plans to build a compressor station near the Transco line in West Wyoming to the Luzerne County Zoning Hearing Board on Tuesday, but it has not begun work on the pipeline in Luzerne County, Eck said.

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