(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Construction is starting in northern Colorado Springs to replace a five-mile stretch of natural gas pipelines.

Colorado Springs Utilities is working on the Kettle Creek Project, which is replacing an aging 18” diameter pipe with 1,600 feet of new pipe weighing more than 50 tons.

CSU says this line acts as a main-feeder of natural gas for that area, serving more than 70,000 customers with safe and reliable natural gas in northern Colorado Springs.

The Kettle Creek project is near Old Ranch Road and Interquest Parkway, where construction of a $1.8 million natural gas pipe replacement project is underway. Specially-trained, in-house teams are overseeing the design and construction.

The project features the installation of a new 20” diameter high pressure natural gas main deep underneath the creek. By conducting the work with internal teams, the organization is saving customers approximately $5.4 million. 

Many of Springs Utilities’ pipes and wires cross typically dry creeks and tributaries that can suddenly carry a wall of water from rain or melting snow. Utilities pipes that cross these creeks are vulnerable to violent water flows and eroding soils that can compromise their stability.

Of all the pipes that cross local creeks, natural gas distribution mains are of particular concern. CSU says that’s why they’re a top priority for getting replaced.

Construction is also happening around the safety of the endangered Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse. This section of pipeline will be under construction during their inactive period, which lasts from September to April.