Ameren-Illinois customers in and around Beardstown will see construction crews over the next month replacing natural gas pipeline.
Contractors working on behalf of Ameren are replacing roughly 2 miles of steel pipeline installed in the 1960s with corrosion-resistant polyethylene material. Supervising Engineer Quinton Snyder says the project will affect about 116 homes and businesses along Arenz Street to 9th Street.
Snyder says this is a proactive project by Ameren to upgrade to newer technology: “There is no safety concerns with the public at this time. This is simply a proactive project on our part. There is no safety concerns whatsoever other than people needing to be mindful of the workers that are out there. The project is currently underway, so we have a contractor that is onsite almost every day doing some form of work. Just be mindful of them as they move equipment in and out of the street and be careful as you drive or walk through those work zones. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of May. They have a fairly significant of the main already installed and they will begin working on some of the services here very shortly.”
Snyder says the homes and businesses along the affected route will have some minor disruption to their natural gas service: “There is just a minor disruption. We can install the service without any disruption whatsoever, but when we go to tie that over at the meter set, they will make contact with the customer. That customer would be out of gas for roughly an hour or less typically. It’s just while the contractor complete that tie over. As a part of that, we will come in and do any relights that are necessary for any equipment that customer may have to get them back up and running as soon as possible at no cost.”
The project is estimated to cost $850,000 and is being financed by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The commission has a program that helps eliminate any faulty natural gas couplings that are more prone to leak when they reach the end of their service life.
If a customer is not home at the time of the service interruption, the customer may call 1.800.755.5000 to schedule a convenient time for the company to relight natural gas appliances, at no charge. Customers will see paint marks and colored flags in neighborhoods and along the road to mark the location of underground utilities.
Ameren-Illinois is asking motorists driving through these local neighborhoods to be mindful of the trucks moving and employees working near the streets and to slow down in the work zone.