Laramie Black Hills Energy pipeline

Black Hills Energy is scheduled to begin construction of a new 4.5-mile natural gas pipeline in Laramie on Monday. The project is expected to provide local customers with the additional reliability needed to meet growth in the area.

As Laramie grows, so does its energy needs, and Black Hills Energy will be working on a new 4.5-mile natural gas pipeline from Lyon Street to Harney Street to help accommodate that grwoth.

Construction on the underground pipeline starts Monday and is expected to be complete by early fall. The pipeline will provide “safe and reliable” service to customers in the area, Rachel Sisneros, BHE’s Laramie Supervisor, told the Boomerang Friday morning.

“We’re just keeping pace with the growth in town and really it’s just about reliability of service to bring different routes for natural gas in the city,” Sisneros said.

BHE does not expect any service disruptions for current Laramie customers as construction takes place this summer, and Sisneros said crews will work to ensure “the impacts will be minimal” to residents within the pipeline’s path.

Laurie Farkas, community affairs manager for BHE, said crews from BHE and the construction crew on the project, TRC Construction, Inc., will go door to door in residential areas in the pipeline’s path to give “day-before notice so that you can plan ahead.”

“If they are trenching in the area that would impact your driveway … we have steel plates that we can put down that cover that trench so that will provide you access,” she said. “We anticipate that we’d only have about one day or less impact on someone’s driveway.”

If no one is home when they knock, Farkas said an informational door hanger will be placed.

The 12-inch steel pipeline will mostly be placed in the city’s utility rights-of-way underneath streets. Safety is BHE’s number one priority, both Farkas and Sisneros said, and will be throughout the duration of the project.

“We do what we call pressure testing before we put any gas in the pipeline,” Sisneros said. “We put air in the pipeline and make sure that it holds pressure, and if it doesn’t, we find out wherever the problem is, and we’ll fix that. Before any natural gas is put in that pipeline, we put all our safety measures in place.”

Once the pipeline is complete, Sisneros said, it will help provide safe, alternative routes for gas to travel to customers so if something “happened to their line downstream, we can still provide them natural gas.”

The project website, www.blackhillsenergy.com/growlaramie, will be up to date all summer on construction updates, timelines and notices.

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