Gas main repairs impact 13 Mile

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published August 15, 2017

 Work is done at Inkster Road, at 13 Mile Road.

Work is done at Inkster Road, at 13 Mile Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Before winter hits, Consumers Energy is fixing the portion of a 16-inch gas main — which runs throughout the county — located on 13 Mile Road, between Haggerty and Inkster roads, in Farmington Hills.

In late July, Consumers Energy inspected the gas main and discovered that parts of it needed to be repaired. Some of the repairs will include excavation to facilitate pipe replacements, according to a press release. This will cause lane closures and possible traffic delays in that area.  

The city of Farmington Hills and Consumers Energy are joining forces to make sure the project goes smoothly and that motorists will not be greatly impacted, according to a press release.

One of the major impacts will be on 13 Mile Road, between Halsted and Drake roads. The repairs required by Consumers Energy will also delay the city from placing the last layer of asphalt in that area of roadway and will set back the projected opening of 13 Mile Road, Consumers Energy spokesman Terry DeDoes confirmed during a recent phone interview.  

“I think the plan is to take care of those in our paving zone and get those done quick, and in a month and a half deal with the rest of them and be done with them,” City Engineer Jim Cubera said of the gas main repairs. “We’re only 12 of those 42 (inspection) digs (throughout the county).”

“We anticipate being done by the end of September, and that gets the work done in time for us to get gas back into the pipeline and meet our customer demand for natural gas that rises in the winter,” DeDoes said. “It is a clean-burning, affordable heating tool that is a popular heating fuel, and the demand for it is highest in those winter heating months.”

Because of unexpected and critical repair work that needs to be done, advanced planning on the project was not possible, according to the press release. 

DeDoes said that in the city there are 12 locations that were identified as needing repairs by an inspection of the pipelines.

He added that a high-technological tool was used to inspect the lines and provide data back to Consumers Energy on what types of issues it might need to address, such as if the pipeline wall is thinning.

Cubera said that Consumers Energy, based in Jackson, has gas mains that run through 13 Mile Road.

“It goes all the way to Northville, to Royal Oak,” Cubera said, adding that the city learned of the need for pipe repairs around July 26.

“They want to get moving on the (project). They are trying to expedite it because they typically turn their gas main off for the summertime when the demand is light,” Cubera said. “Typically, we don’t need a whole lot of gas until the peak heating season, probably in October, when you turn your furnace on. This is an opportune time to be doing this.”

Consumers Energy is a public utility that provides natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents, according to a press release.

For more information, go to www.fhgov.com.

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