Clearing out: An 18-wheeler carries timber cleared away from the site of where 42-inch natural gas pipeline is being installed in Coosa County. | Brent Maze

Archived Story

Pipeline impacts area

Published 11:58pm Wednesday, October 13, 2010
140 workers come to city to install pipe in Coosa

One of the final links in a 10,000-mile natural gas pipeline linking Texas with New York is being completed in Coosa County.

Since Labor Day, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco) has been installing a four-mile section of 42-inch diameter pipe just west of Rockford town limits and just south of Alabama 22 along a tributary of Swamp Creek.

Although the pipe is being installed in Rockford, drivers along U.S. 280 have noticed the numerous segments of the 42-inch pipe sitting on the side of the road just north of Alexander City. However, that was just a storage and staging area for the project, according to company spokesman Christopher Stockton.

“We had a temporary pipe storage yard just off of Highway 280 north of Alexander City where we staged the pipe for the project, but most of the pipe that was stored there has been moved to the right of way at this point,” Stockton said.

Stockton said more than 100 workers from the contractor’s staff, which is from Latex Construction Company of Atlanta, Ga., are temporarily staying in Alexander City and other surrounding areas to help complete this work.

“The contractor’s construction crew peaked out at about 140 and it’s just now starting to wind down a little,” Stockton said. “All, or nearly all, are staying locally in the Alexander City area in motels, trailer parks and campgrounds including Wind Creek State Park. Since construction of natural gas pipelines is a specialized activity, it is typical that many workers who are qualified to do this type of construction would have travel trailers that they live out of when they move around the country from pipeline project to pipeline project.”

Jimmy Shivers, park superintendent for Wind Creek, said they have about 15 of the workers staying at the park.

“They’re still trickling in,” Shivers said. “Some have already left and others have just arrived. They said they could be here as long as six months working on the pipe.”

This is one of three locations in Alabama where pipe is being installed along the 85 North Corridor. Other areas in the state where pipeline work will take place is in Chilton and Marengo counties. The total cost of the work in Coosa County is $28 million.

Stockton said the work began with a survey and then the clearing and grading begins, both of which have already been completed.

“The trenching is wrapping up – most of the pipe has been strung out next to the trench,” Stockton said. “The current work is bending, welding, lowering the pipe into the trench and boring underneath the county roads.”

After the pipe is installed, it is then tested and upon passing inspection, the company will then restore the land back to safe environmental standards.