New gas lines to serve community

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the past several weeks, residents and travelers on MainStreet may have seen some construction and unusual lookingequipment along side Bicentennial Park. However, the metal tubingand tractors are working to keep houses warm, not to install newslides.

Construction crews have been digging holes and tearing trenchesthrough the ground to replace 5,000 feet of 6-inch steel forCenterPoint Energy, which is the city’s supplier of natural gas.The old pipeline dates back to 1930.

“Age doesn’t have anything to do with the integrity of thepipe,” said Alicia Dixon, spokesperson for CenterPoint energy. “Asteel pipe can last forever as long as it’s properlymaintained.”

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The old gas transportation vehicle is not being replaced due topoor preservation. The CenterPoint official pointed out that pipereplacement is a routine process.

“This is just part of our normal maintenance to our system,”said Dixon. “We check our maintenance constantly and through ourinspections we determine which pipes need to replaced ormaintained.”

The new duct will be installed right next to the old pipe, wherethe aged pipe will be left in the ground and abandoned once the newinstallation is serving customers. Dixon added that the desertedline would not cause any harm to the surrounding environment.

As the skies in Brookhaven become greyer and greyer and walks toand from automobiles become quicker and quicker, the surroundingresidents will be happy to know they will not have to resort tomore primitive resources to keep warm.

“The customers won’t even know it’s being switched over,” saidDorsey Cameron, Ward One alderman and CenterPoint employee. “Therewon’t be any homes without gas.”

Cameron said the groundbreaking and installation process, whichis occurring in his ward, has not disrupted the area’s dailyactivities.

“Everybody’s happy, I haven’t had any complaints,” said Cameron.”No one has complained about the work, the traffic or anything likethat.”

It seems the only discomfort to those brave enough to weatherthe frigid air in the neighborhood is the smell of lingering gas.However, Dixon said there is no need to worry about the unpleasantaroma.

“Since we are doing work around (gas), that’s not unusual,” saidDixon. “Natural gas is lighter than air.”

The cause of the odor is an odorant called mercaptan, which isplaced in the odorless natural gas as a safety precaution. Therotten egg smell allows people to detect the presence of gas.

Residents can expect to see workers continue the installationprocess in the next several weeks, as Dixon expects the job to becompleted within a month. However, the system update will help morethan those around Main Street.

“It’s going to benefit the city of Brookhaven because that’s ourmain line that comes from our supplier to our station on Enterprise(Street),” said Cameron.