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PG&E plans new pipeline in Turlock

POSTED February 15, 2013 10:00 p.m.

A testing of the natural gas pipelines in Turlock last year turned up no problems, but the company has decided to replace a large segment starting at Geer Road.

The pipeline is being replaced because it was installed prior to regulations governing pressurizations standards, according to Pacific Gas and Electric’s government relations representative Richard Dye, who gave a presentation on the upcoming project to the Turlock City Council Tuesday night.

Given the age of the pipeline PG&E decided it was a better option to replace it then put it through the pressurizations tests, PG&E spokesperson Nicole Liebelt said. The new pipeline will have upgraded technology and an increased capacity to meet any potential growth needs, Liebelt said.

The pipeline slated for replacement extends about 10 miles in length. Work will begin at E. Christoffersen Parkway and Geer Road and continue north along Geer, past E. Taylor and Santa Fe roads and up to E. Whitmore Avenue in Ceres.

The project is expected to start in June of this year and should take an estimated four months to complete, Liebelt said. There will be occasional lane closures as the project progresses. PG&E will be notifying residents and businesses of the work being done as it gets underway.

The pipeline segments being replaced in Turlock were identified through a records search, not because of any reported problems.

Last summer PG&E used hydrostatic testing on the pipelines in Turlock to check for potential leaks. No problems were found, Liebelt said.

Under the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan an estimated 780 miles of pipeline was tested in the state. Approximately 185 miles of pipeline segments are being replaced. The state wide testing was initiated in the wake of the San Bruno explosion that killed eight people in 2010.

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