Gas pipeline being replaced near Ironbridge neighborhood |

Gas pipeline being replaced near Ironbridge neighborhood

Ryan Summerlin

Black Hills Energy is upgrading a natural gas pipeline on Garfield County Road 109 south of Glenwood Springs, and the Ironbridge neighborhood is expected to be affected for months.

On Monday Garfield County commissioners unanimously approved the replacement and upgrade project, which is largely in the county’s right of way.

Black Hills was initially shooting to start construction as soon as April 15, but a more realistic time frame is now looking like the beginning to the middle of May, the company’s representatives said. The project is expected to run until the beginning of November.

This project will require some temporary lane closures on County Road 109. The pipeline will be constructed in the county’s right of way and beneath the 109 travel lanes.

The project will especially impact Ironbridge, said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky.

At two locations Black Hills Energy will also need to conduct soil sampling and geotech analysis for potential bore locations under the road to make sure the soil is compatible for boring.

This section of the pipeline replacement in phase one will run 9,505 feet south from a compression station, past Ironbridge, and to the United Companies pit.

A natural gas line already exists in the county’s right of way, said Anna Smith of Black Hills Energy. Due to more modern technology, the company is looking to replace that line with another 6-inch line, she said. This pipeline will be higher strength and have thicker walls.

“If you do it at a section at a time, as opposed to shutting down the whole 9,000 feet at once, it makes a big difference, because you won’t hold people up too much,” said Jankovsky, who also urged the company to be mindful of morning traffic from the development.

Smith said Black Hills will coordinate with the road and bridge department’s planned maintenance and improvements on 109 to make sure that neither effort is undermining the other.

This stretch will also get repaved by the end of this phase one portion, most of which Black Hills will be doing, said Mike Prehm of road and bridge.

The road will benefit from the project, said Jankovsky, but he stressed the need to keep traffic moving.

“People in Glenwood are getting a little tired of construction, but yet they’re going to have more,” said Commissioner John Martin, alluding to the coming replacement of the Grand Avenue bridge in the fall and other coinciding projects.

“People are going to be pretty tense about any more construction, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Commissioner Mike Samson.

Black Hills expects to come back to commissioners in a couple months for approvals for the second phase of this project.

Phase two will be a longer project that will continue the pipeline to Garfield County Road 108 and tie into a station there, said Smith.

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