Gas work brings metal plates, holes in road

Gas work brings metal plates, holes in road

March 20th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

Miles of pipe laid by Chattanooga Gas Co.

2001 8.1

2002 13.5

2003 0.6

2004 3.0

2005 6.1

2006 6.1

2007 11.1

2008 2.1

2009 3.1

2010 10.9

2011 6.5*

*estimated

Source: Chattanooga Gas

• What: Chattanooga Gas Co. cut about 200 holes in downtown streets to bore more than 10 miles underground. The cuts were initially covered by large steel plates, and finally patched with asphalt.

• Why: Because of the amount of traffic passing through downtown, officials decided that 200 four-foot by four-foot cuts would be less of an impediment than 10 miles of open trenches. It was primarily a convenience issue, according to Larry Buie, region manager for Chattanooga Gas. The entire project is part of the company's ongoing pipe replacement program, which has been going on in its current form since 2001, Buie said. The company has replaced about 64.6 miles of pipe since then.

• Where: The gas company is nearly finished with its 2010-2011 project, which has replaced much of the older pipe in downtown Chattanooga. The company will move in May to replace 6.5 miles of pipe under McCallie Avenue, South Highland Park Avenue and on Southcrest Road, Buie said.

• Cost: Work downtown cost just over $4.8 million. This year's project on McCallie and surrounding areas could add up to $3.5 million.