Janesville67.3°

Natural gas pipeline OK'd

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
September 30, 2009
— Construction of a natural gas pipeline through Janesville will begin next spring now that a federal agency has OK'd the project.

The ANR Pipeline of Houston, a subsidiary of TransCanada, will build about nine miles of a 30-inch natural gas pipeline and also upgrade a compressor station on the north side of Janesville.


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission OK'd the project earlier this month. The company had hoped to begin construction this summer but now will begin next May. Construction should conclude in September with restoration work done in October.


The project is estimated to cost $38 million to $39 million, said Phillip Bohannon, project manager. Michels Pipeline Construction of Brownsville is the contractor.


According to company literature, the pipeline will increase the natural-gas capacity in this area, especially the growing energy needs of industrial-use customers in the Madison area.


The company has owned easements through Janesville since the early 1980s.


The route starts along Highway 14 and runs in a northwest direction, beginning at Drott Drive south of Milwaukee Street. It turns north behind Best Buy, runs behind the store and the Pine Tree Plaza and turns and runs along the backside of the Mercy property on Deerfield Drive and then behind the Walmart Supercenter and Sam's Club. It crosses Rotamer Road and eventually Kennedy Road, heading out of Janesville.


The pipeline comes close to residents in several areas, including the Briar Crest Park area and Curry and Stonefield lanes. Residents along the route have been notified of the schedule, said Tim Irons of TransCanada ANR.


In September 2008, city officials said they were having difficulty working with ANR. The company had proposed an alternate route through Briar Crest Park and sent the route to the commission, but city officials wanted to work with the company to protect future infrastructure needs.


The city and company eventually agreed to a route.


Some trees will be lost to the pipeline, said Mike Payne, engineering manager. The city this summer transplanted 35 trees that were in Briar Crest Park. It then offered the remaining trees to nearby residents and then the general public.


The company also is working with the city to minimize the disruption to a planned bike trail, Irons said. ANR is allowing the city to build a bike trail within the pipeline easement. The construction is funded with stimulus money and scheduled for construction next year.


Now that the project has been delayed, Payne is hoping the pipeline construction will not delay construction of the bike trail and cause a loss of funds.



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