By Paul Moreno
PG&E will soon begin upgrading a natural gas distribution main along Chico’s Midway to increase capacity for J.M. Smucker Company’s new food processing facility.
Crews are scheduled to perform the upgrades beginning the week of January 9 through February 24, weather permitting.
“PG&E is making many gas and electric upgrades in the North Valley to enhance safety and reliability, as well as meet our customers’ needs for more energy,” said Lia White, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division.
PG&E is replacing an existing gas main with wider 6-inch plastic pipe so more gas can flow to the facility on Speedway Avenue. Work will occur for about 1,000 feet along Midway, starting from just north of Hegan Lane to just north of Sandhill Court.
Traffic impacts will be minimal and while the bicycle path will be closed from East Park Avenue to Hagen Lane, cyclists can use the Midway but at times may be delayed a few moments by traffic flaggers.
In fall of 2016, PG&E installed 1,500 feet of 4-inch plastic gas main along Speedway Avenue as part of this project to increase natural gas capacity to Smucker’s.
Only three customers will be impacted by a brief interruption in gas service as the replaced lines are taken out of service and new lines are placed into service. PG&E will work with all customers affected by the temporary service interruption, as well as other residences and businesses in the neighborhood, to minimize any inconvenience.
Work will generally occur Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Motorists should allow for extra time when traveling on Midway. At times, one-way traffic controls may be in effect.
Once upgrades are complete, 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. The smell of natural gas and the sound of venting may be noticeable to nearby homes and businesses as a result, 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 us at 1-800-743-5000.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.