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Pipeline crew ‘digging in’
|Building the 77-mile natural-gas pipeline known as the Empire Connector Project is in full swing in Ontario County, with some 265 workers on the job along sections of the 33 miles the pipeline will cross in the county. The $177 million project is crossing Ontario, Yates, Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben counties, burying 24-inch-diameter pipe that will transport natural gas from Buffalo to a link-up with the New York-city area. |
Through Ontario County it will cross 182 properties en route from Victor to the Yates County border in the town of Seneca. All but four property owners have signed right-of-way agreements, said Julie Coppola Cox, spokeswoman for Buffalo-based National Fuel Gas Company. Reasons for the delay in reaching agreements vary, she said. They include a recent re-routing of the pipeline on a property near the Thruway and arrangements that must be made to accommodate a septic system.
The entire pipeline project is on schedule, said Coppola Cox. The gas should begin flowing this November. It will serve 1 million customers.
Meanwhile, some mighty powerful machines and a number of work crews have come to town to prepare the right-of-ways, dig the trenches and bury the pipe. The pipeline is being built in sections, with 80-foot-long lengths trucked up from Louisiana, said Joseph Gezik, ombudsman for the project. Each section weighs 8,000 pounds, he said, and must be strategically placed and maneuvered according to strict government guidelines.
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