Columbia Gas is installing new lines in downtown Warren and, to make sure that work doesn't have negative effects on other infrastructure, the company is taking a look at sewer lines first.
A Columbia project on Second Avenue is wrapping up. A Pennsylvania Avenue, Market Street, and Water Street project will start soon. The $230,000 project will result in the replacement of 1,530 feet of existing bare steel pipe with "state-of-the-art plastic pipe," according to Columbia Communications and Community Relations Specialist Sarah Perry. "We're replacing this pipe to ensure the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of gas to our customers."
On Wednesday, a crew from Miller Pipeline Technologies of Cranberry occupied a section of the middle of the intersection of Pennsylvania and Market to do some preliminary work.
Center of attention
A manhole in the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Market Street is used by Miller Pipeline Technologies as an access point for mapping sanitary sewer lines under the streets of Warren.
The crew used a two-foot long robotic camera system to map out the sanitary sewer system in the project area.
"Miller's in there before we start any project," Columbia's Tom Sivak said.
Traffic at the intersection was limited to one lane in each direction. The traffic signal was blinking red and a flagging crew directed traffic.
The man-hole at the intersection was the only access point in that section of sewer, so the Miller crew had to park the truck in the intersection.
A worker in the truck watches the video relayed from the camera system and uses what looks like a game controller to move the robot in the right direction. At junctions, the robot has a camera on a copper cable that can investigate sections of pipe that the whole system cannot roll into. The robot can navigate in pipes as small as six-inches or as large as 48-inches.
A Miller worker said the mapping will not continue into Thursday and traffic patterns will be back to normal.
The camera system will be used again, first in the area of the Second Avenue project, and later when the Market and Pennsylvania project is complete. A Miller worker said the next portion of the job will not require parking a truck in the middle of any streets.
"There is a policy Columbia Gas has itself when they do directional boring," City of Warren Public Works Director Mike Holtz said. "They TV all the sewer lines before and after they do the boring to make sure they don't bore through the sewer lines."
City crews helped with the project.
"The sewer camera crew found that there were some lines that were pretty dirty that they couldn't get the TV through," Holtz said. "We used our sewer vacuum jet truck" to clean out several hundred feet of sewer lines for the camera.
The next portion of the Columbia job will include installation of lines on Pennsylvania Avenue between Liberty and Market streets and along Market to McDonald's. The Second Avenue job should be finished "within the next week," Sivak said.
The entire project should wrap up by mid-December, according to Perry.
Workers will be on site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Perry said the work should not result in any road closures.