CHICO — PG&E began work this week to modernize 2,500 feet of natural gas distribution pipes in a south Chico neighborhood. The work is expected to continue through April.
“This pipe replacement project will improve the safety and integrity of the natural gas system for our customers in this Chico neighborhood,” said Erik Kurtz, gas distribution superintendent for PG&E’s North Valley and Sierra divisions.
Pipelines will be upgraded along Mulberry and Laurel streets between East 21st and East 23rd streets, plus the dead-end portion of Laurel Street north of East 21st Street. PG&E is replacing vintage 2- and 4-inch steel and plastic natural gas lines with new 2- and 4-inch plastic lines. PG&E is also upgrading gas service lines to 66 homes.
Traffic impacts will be minimal as most work will occur on lightly traveled streets. Trenching will be minimal as PG&E will mainly bore beneath the surface to install new gas lines. Crews will generally work Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., but work may occur on some Fridays.
There will be a brief interruption in gas service as the old lines are taken out of service and new lines are placed into service. PG&E will directly contact all 66 impacted customers. Then, when the upgrades are completed, the new pipes will be tested to ensure they are operating safely before being placed into service.
Following standard safety practices, crews will vent natural gas from pipelines as the project progresses. As PG&E vents the pipe, the smell of natural gas and the sound of venting may be noticeable to nearby homes and businesses, depending on wind direction. The natural gas will quickly dissipate into the atmosphere and will not be harmful; however, PG&E encourages anyone who has concerns about natural gas odors in or around their home or business to call the utility at 1-800-743-5000.