Columbia Gas of Ohio to begin Robinson Avenue project

By Frank Lewis -

Columbia Gas is continuing their infrastructure improvement with an approximately $1.5 million job, serving 250 customers, on Robinson Avenue and several adjoining streets, including Park Avenue, Lincoln Street, Highland Avenue, North Avenue, Franklin Avenue, Hutchins Street and other parts of that neighborhood. The work is set to begin next week.

Wednesday night the community was invited to a customer information meeting at the 14th Street Community Center in Portsmouth.

“We’ve been working over the past several years here in Portsmouth with a number of projects,” Shane Cartmill, External Affairs Specialist for Columbia Gas of Ohio, said. “Each one has been in the $1 million to $2 million range in terms of investment in the community.”

Cartmill said customers will see where the work is going to be done ahead of time because they will mark the property, including the right-of-way as well as where the utilities are.

“We also will knock on the customer’s door before we do any work, specifically on their property,” Cartmill said.

Cartmill said Columbia Gas of Ohio officials have already met with city officials.

“We did. We met with them twice – late last year and earlier this year,” Cartmill said. “Then I had a follow-up phone call with the city manager just recently.”

Columbia Gas of Ohio plans to begin this work in your neighborhood spring of 2017. Though a lot of factors impact

construction, including weather and special events, their goal is to complete the project by the end of the year.

Cartmill said Columbia Gas of Ohio is committed to ensuring safe and reliable natural gas delivery at area homes or businesses. He went on to say just like other important parts of the infrastructure in our communities, such as highways and bridges, age and condition can impact safety and reliability. While the current system has performed well, it is now time to replace the aging cast iron and bare steel pipes with specially-designed, long lasting pipes that he says will serve customers for many years to come.

Cartmill said customers will first notice Columbia representatives conducting preliminary work in their neighborhood to ensure the pipeline is installed in the least invasive way possible.

“This process includes recording the sewer system, locating and marking various underground facilities such as water and cable, and surveying work to verify property lines,” Cartmill said. “We will also record the entire construction path to document the condition of sidewalks, driveways, curbs, etc. to ensure any needed repairs will be made accurately. Many factors, including weather and your town’s special events, can impact the construction schedule for this project. Our goal is to complete this project in a timely manner and minimize your inconvenience.”

Cartmill said the continued infrastructure upgrades are extremely important for the city.

“We are increasing efficiency and safety, and historic neighborhoods will now have the same infrastructure found in newer developments,” Cartmill said. “Our work increases reliability, enhances safety and reduces maintenance in years to come. By replacing the aging cast iron and bare steel pipe with new infrastructure it reduces leaks. The number of leaks have fallen 41 percent since 2009.”

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.