Men at work:  Crews in the process of digging in to lay the new gas line on 51 Street on Thursday

Men at work: Crews in the process of digging in to lay the new gas line on 51 Street on Thursday

Gas line construction replacing old, outdated system

Construction adjacent to Main Street will be wrapping up later this month, and will see old and outdated gas lines replaced by newer lines.

Construction adjacent to Main Street will be wrapping up later this month, and will see old and outdated gas lines replaced by newer, more resilient versions.

According to Roger Tremblay, the project manager for the Stettler AltaGas line replacement project, the work should be done by the end of June, including remediation of any damaged pavement.

The work is being done on 49 and 51 streets between 48 and 51 avenues, Tremblay explained. He said it is just routine replacement of older infrastructure.

“We’re replacing old gas mains with new polyethylene pipes,” he said. It will be replacing old steel lines, which though they have held up, are older and reaching end-of-life.

“It’s time,” he said. “It’s how we prevent incidents (from happening).”

The old steel lines will remain but will be decommissioned, with the new polyethylene lines being located within a metre of the old lines in most cases, Tremblay said.

To avoid having to dig up the whole line, AltaGas is using directional drilling, which limits the amount of damage done to the surface but allows the company to guide the new lines beneath the surface of the existing alleyways.

Affected home and business owners on 49, 50 and 51 streets, and on 49 and 51 avenues received letters in advance of the start of the construction project, Tremblay said. The disruption to these individuals will be minimal and will happen only when the new lines are being hooked up.

“We will be in communication with the property owner 24-48 hours before,” he said. “We’ll then go in and re-ignite any equipment disrupted.”

The project is running on schedule and there’s been no unpleasant surprises as of yet, Tremblay noted.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the project should contact AltaGas on its general inquiries line at 1-866-222-2067. If it is an emergency, AltaGas has a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week contact line at 1-866-222-2068.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified ATCO Gas as the company performing the work in town, and listed the company’s number instead.