What: $2.6 billion, 25-year project to upgrade aging steel gas lines. Large, high-pressure transmission lines are being replaced with new steel pipes, and low-pressure lines in the streets and residential and commercial meters will be replaced with a plastic known as bimodal polyethylene.
Who is first? Customers directly affected are notified in advance. Work on high-pressure transmission lines has begun in southern Summit County. The first residential area will be on West Thornton Street on Akron's near southwest side along the Innerbelt. Other affected streets in the West Thornton neighborhood are West Bartges, Campbell, Raymond, Howe, Scheck, Russell, West Bowery, Kiefer, Norka Street and Court, Moeller, Lane, Schumacher, Snyder, Haynes, Nathan and Rhodes.
Who will not be affected: Generally, lines installed since 1970 do not need to be replaced. In addition, homes in affected areas that have not been recent Dominion customers will not be upgraded. For example, nearly 100 of the 547 homes in the Thornton Street area are considered abandoned and will not be upgraded. Customers who have been shut off for nonpayment will be upgraded but gas will not be restored until bills are paid.
What will happen: Old steel main lines, generally found in the street, will be replaced with a high-strength plastic pipe. A plastic line will be inserted into the service pipe, which runs from the main to individual meters. If that is not possible, the company will dig up and replace the service pipe to the meter. When service lines are upgraded, the company also will install new meters that can be read remotely. The company will be responsible for restoring yards and concrete to previous condition.
Service interruptions: Gas service to customers must be shut off for a few hours as service lines are upgraded.
Safety issues that could affect service: After service is turned off, gas cannot be restored unless an adult allows a Dominion agent into the house to relight and check all appliances. If any appliance or pipe is deemed unsafe, the owner must replace or repair it before gas can be restored. Dominion agents will carry identification.
Paying for the project: All Dominion East Ohio customers will pay for the project in monthly bills. Customers already are paying an additional 30 cents to add remote reading equipment at all meters. The pipe-replacement program initially was set at $1.12 a month, with the potential for growing an additional $1 a month in each of the following four years. The Ohio Public Utilities Commission has yet to determine the final amount, and also will determine rates after five years.
Questions? Call Dominion at 800-544-5768 or send an e-mail online to: OhioConstructionSupport@dom.com.