Due to 'unforeseen difficulties,' Xcel Energy adds crew to pipeline project on Highway 6 between Avon, Edwards

By Real Vail
July 14, 2011

Due to unforeseen difficulties with the replacement of the Xcel Energy natural gas pipeline from Edwards to Minturn, Colo., Xcel Energy announced today that it will add a third construction crew to the project.

Xcel Energy is proactively replacing a 6-inch, high-pressure natural gas line with 16-inch pipe, to meet growing customer demand for natural gas and improve reliability in the region. Xcel Energy has seen delays, however, with the installation of the pipe due to unforeseen soil integrity issues and weather delays.

The company intends to add a third construction crew, which will start today at Eagle Road at U.S. Highway 6/24; it will move east along U.S. Highway 6 to Kayak Road. The crew is being added to ensure that the project is completed by October 2011.

The company has and will continue to work closely with local city, county and government officials, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to ensure the safety of the community and the traveling public.

Another construction crew currently is working in the area of Miller Ranch Road at U.S. Highway 6, and will proceed over time east to Eagle Road. Another construction crew currently is working from Minturn to Kayak Road.

The company will provide periodic updates on construction efforts and potential traffic disruption as the project progresses along the highway. The company notes that:

Construction will take place generally each day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MDT., generally Monday through Saturday; motorists may encounter single-lane, alternating traffic where construction requires a lane closure;

The speed limit on U.S. Highway 6 is reduced to 40 miles per hour approaching work areas and reduced to 25 miles per hour where a single-lane work zone is in place;

Construction will end earlier on Fridays before holiday weekends. Construction also will be curtailed for some special summer and fall local events;

The company intends to work each day in up to approximately 500-foot segments. When a 2,500-foot segment has been completed, that section will be permanently repaved;

Traffic will be directed by a qualified contractor for Xcel Energy. It will provide traffic signage and will reroute traffic around the construction area.

Weekly construction updates can be obtained by calling 1-877-481-6380, or by visiting www.xceledwards-minturnhpgaspipeline.com .

Without increasing the natural gas line's capacity, the company estimates that the communities of Avon, Minturn, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Summit, Grand, Lake and Chaffee counties may experience natural gas shortages in the winter of 2011. As a regulated utility, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission views this project as Xcel Energy performing regular maintenance on its infrastructure.

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