Gas main replacement getting underway in Libertyville

 
 
Posted7/17/2018 1:00 AM
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  • A large North Shore Gas project began Monday in Libertyville as part of system improvements to retire older gas mains, install new mains, and reconnect residents' individual services to the new line. Work was underway at houses on two dozen streets, including McKinley Avenue, by crews from North Shore's subcontractor Meade.

      A large North Shore Gas project began Monday in Libertyville as part of system improvements to retire older gas mains, install new mains, and reconnect residents' individual services to the new line. Work was underway at houses on two dozen streets, including McKinley Avenue, by crews from North Shore's subcontractor Meade. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Cement is removed from the sidewalk corners of McKinley Avenue and Carter Street in Libertyville Monday as the North Shore Gas construction project got underway.

      Cement is removed from the sidewalk corners of McKinley Avenue and Carter Street in Libertyville Monday as the North Shore Gas construction project got underway. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Crews will be busy for the next few months with a big project in Libertyville unrelated to road construction or typical summer work.

North Shore Gas on Monday started a six-phase project to retire old gas mains, install new ones and reconnect individual services to the new line.

The project encompasses about 650 residents on 23 streets, generally east of Butterfield Road and south of Route 176 in the southern part of town.

North Shore will move in sequence and residents will be notified when the work is a week or two from approaching a given area. The project is expected to last until the end of September, and also calls for meters inside houses to be moved outside, which increases safety and reduces service delays, according to North Shore.

"This project is part of a system upgrade plan," said Vanessa Hall, spokeswoman for the company. Similar work is underway for the same number of customers in Gurnee and is planned for about double that number in Waukegan, she added.

Hall said the company is retiring its old gas mains and installing new ones. Those in Libertyville, for example, date from the 1960s. The overall cost of the gas line replacement project is about $3 million, she added.

The 2-inch diameter lines will be replaced with the same size and set a minimum of three feet below ground, according to Jeff Cooper, village engineer.

He said the majority of the main line installations will be directionally bored, which will minimize the extent of open excavations and disruptions.

"Open excavations will be needed for the individual service reconnections for each home along the replaced lines in order to connect residences to the new system," he said.

"But the majority of this work is within the parkways and sidewalks so there should be minimal impact to the roadways other than construction vehicles and staging," he added.

North Shore serves about 160,000 customers in 54 communities in the northern suburbs, including most of Lake County.

In April, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas announced savings from federal tax law changes would be passed to customers. That was estimated to amount to a savings of $1.33 per month for the average North Shore customer.

In early 2015, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a rate increase to produce about $3.7 million in new annual revenue for the utility. That amounted to about $1.05 to $1.10 per month for the average North Shore customer.

The current work will not have an immediate impact on rates, according to the ICC. Any future impact on rates from the system investment could come as a result of the company's next rate case before the ICC but that has not been scheduled.

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