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PG&E updating natural gas lines along East Louise

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POSTED September 13, 2013 11:41 p.m.

By VINCE REMBULAT

The Bulletin

The process to modernize the gas infrastructure along East Louise Avenue is scheduled to begin this week, according to officials from the Pacific, Gas & Electric.

But don’t expect road work excavation just yet.

“There are three locations (along Louise Avenue and Airport Way) where we will trench and bore,” said Jason Nall in customer outreach. “We’ve sent letters to all the homes in the area to inform them on this project.”

No timetables were set but best case scenario for completion is the end of November, he added.

A public forum was held lThursday at the Manteca Unified School District office complex to answer any questions involving the three projects. Included are pipeline replacement, hydrostatic pressure testing and automating pipeline valves.

“PG&E will be doing 1,000 miles of work, from Bakersfield to the Oregon border,” spokesperson Nicole Liebelt said.

The pipeline replacement project, she pointed out, will take place on a stretch of Louise Avenue about a mile or two west of the MUSD complex. As part of the multiyear program to improve the safety of the natural gas system, PG&E is replacing large transmission pipelines, installing new pipelines using industry recognized and proven installation techniques.

“There will be no road closure once the work begins,” Liebelt said.

Rather, the roads will be tapered off during the work.

The hydrostatic pressure testing, once completed, will further examine the maximum strength of the pipeline using water. According to the plans, the PG&E crew will install the testing site east of Airport Way on Louise Avenue, and the line going further east on Louise Avenue to the Union Pacific railroad.

Hydrostatic pressure testing, according to PG&E, is a proven technique used throughout the industry to confirm pipelines’ safe operating pressures and identify any weakness.

As for the automating pipeline valves, PG&E uses this process to quickly stop the flow of gas and improve the response time during an emergency.

“The valves are automated to close,” said project manager Michael Ladouceur.

In a case of a catastrophe, PG&E can isolate the gas line. “The automated valve gives us an opportunity to control the gas service,” he said.

For more information of this project or express any concerns, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

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