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Energy Transfer Partners was chomping at the bit to get the Rover Pipeline project underway earlier this year, and with finally receiving a notice to proceed from a federal regulatory agency in February, it’s moving quickly to, well, proceed.
Key personnel who will be working on one of the pipeline spreads in Wayne County attended a meet-and-greet of sorts in early March with local officials. It was a chance for them to talk about how they expect the workflow to unfold and answer any questions.
Precision Pipeline’s Jim Cunningham, a supervisor, and Steven Grice, who handles finances in the field and other responsibilities; Craig Newcomb, a third-party chief inspector; and Susan King, who handles outreach for Rover, met with the county commissioners, sheriff, engineer and Soil & Water Conservation District staff.
“We’re starting later than we wanted to,” said Susan King, who handles public outreach for the project. “Our role is to get the pipeline installed in a timely manner ... and have it in service later this year.”
The Rover Pipeline, estimated to traverse about 710 miles, will run natural gas from West Virginia to Michigan. It is estimated to be a $4.2 billion project. It will have the capacity to transmit up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas, which will be pumped into the pipeline from Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
When finished, there will be two, 42-inch parallel lines. The hope is the first line will be installed by June 16, and the second completed in November.
Precision Pipeline will be installing 44.5 miles of pipe, mostly in Wayne County. The company recently wrapped up a 190-mile project for ETP in Illinois, and Cunningham said he was pleased to report agriculture officials there said they did not receive one complaint from landowners. “I’m not saying we’ll get 100 percent here,” Cunningham said, but it demonstrates how committed they are to doing things right and doing things in a safe manner.
With Wayne County being one of the state’s top agricultural counties, Commissioner Ann Obrecht, a dairy farmer, asked about farmers having access to the back of the fields during the two-stage construction project.
Both Cunningham and Grice said access will be maintained. Newcomb pointed out he is a horse farmer, and Cunningham has cattle. So, both understand the needs of farmers.
Incidentally, where Cunningham lives in Illinois there are Amish and Amish-related tourism, so he is somewhat familiar with this kind of environment.
Precision Pipeline will put in trench plugs to allow access. The company will work with farmers to determine the best spot. In some cases, timber mats will be used.
When construction begins in earnest, between 800 to 1,000 people will be working on the pipeline. This will create an issue when all of the workers will report for a 7 a.m. safety meeting once a month at a temporary base in Riceland. Precision Pipeline will be reaching out to Capt. Doug Hunter, who attended the meet-and-greet, to see what can be done about traffic control.
Crews will eventually be parking on the project’s right of way, but it will be after access ramps are created, Cunningham said. Boring will start in Ashland County and head east. Conventional boring will be used under most roads, but horizontal directional drilling will be used for longer stretches to go under highways and bodies of water.
On the Illinois project, horizontal drilling was used on a 6,200 foot span, and there were no problems, Cunningham said.
Reporter Bobby Warren can be reached at 330-287-1639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is @BobbyWarrenTDR on Twitter.