LAWRENCE, Mass. – Columbia Gas of Massachusetts today announced the completion of its gas pipeline construction project, achieving a major milestone on the path to restoring gas service to the Greater Lawrence area. The completed construction—the ‘gas-ready’ part of the recovery effort—included the installation of 43.5 miles of gas main lines and 5,086 service lines, the requalification of nearly 12.3 miles of main line polyethylene pipe, and provides state-of-the-art infrastructure and enhanced safety features for the entire system. The pipeline construction, or ‘gas-ready’ effort, was completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
Separately, last week, local and state officials and Columbia Gas announced an updated timeline for the ‘house-ready’ process and efforts to pursue rapid relights. This includes repairing and replacing equipment and appliances in homes and businesses so they can safely receive natural gas. With the construction part of the recovery complete, Columbia Gas is now renewing its focus on the ‘house-ready’ aspect and shifting resources and staff to that work.
On the construction milestone, Joe Albanese, Chief Recovery Officer, as appointed by Governor Baker, said: “Over 29 days, NiSource and pipeline contractor crews from 10 states pulled together to complete this unprecedented engineering operation efficiently, and most important – safely. It was a first-class team that planned and executed this project. While this is an important milestone, we are well-aware the complex work inside homes has faced challenges, and we are laser-focused on increasing the pace and productivity of that work.”
Pablo Vegas, Chief Restoration Officer for Columbia Gas said: “I’m extremely proud of our employees, contractors, partners in local and state government, and indeed, the entire community who have helped make this phase of our effort to restore gas service to the Greater Lawrence area go so well. Now we will focus our energy and resources to the in-home, ‘house-ready’ part of the project. As we’ve said, we are committed to making homes ‘house-ready’ as safely and efficiently as possible, and that important work continues.”