Expect construction for a national oil pipeline project to begin locally next month

By Gary Scott on May 10, 2016 at 6:51am

That was the word from Morgan County Highway Department Engineer Matt Coultas during Monday morning’s county commissioner meeting.

Coultas says work on the Dakota Access Pipeline is scheduled to begins next week in western Illinois, and will work its way into Scott and Morgan Counties by early June.

The pipeline is carrying oil from North Dakota to a terminal in Patoka, Illinois.

“We’re on what they’re referring to as ‘Spread 1A’, which begins around the Hancock/Adams County line, and works south and east. We may see some boring crews a little earlier than that, but they’ll be isolated to do road crossings, so it won’t be the main activity. I guess it’ll be just the getting the road crossings taken care of to where when the main line comes through, they can tie right in to it, and they don’t have to worry about doing the road crossings,” explains Coultas.

“But, they’ll have a different contractor that’ll be doing the bore work.”

Coultas says he met last Friday with the contractor in charge of the 95-mile “spread” and was provided an update.

“The road usage agreements that we had already in place, they’re speeding up the process. As I discussed earlier in the meeting, we’re going from eight months to five months,” he says.

“They’re going to have those boring crews out a little earlier, so they needed more access because they can’t stay on the right-of-way, because they won’t have all the right-of-way cleared when they come through to do their work. So, I think we’re adding maybe four if not five additional access points to the route here in Morgan County,” Coultas adds.

Materials to construct the pipeline are coming from yards in the Scott County towns of Riggston and Merritt, according to Coultas.

Reports from Friday indicate Texas-based Dakota Access LLC has asked regulators in Iowa to immediately start work on most of the pipeline. The project still needs to be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.