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Aspen, Colorado, natural gas line update

To meet the growing energy needs of Aspen, we’re upgrading the natural gas mainline along McLain Flats Road. Construction will begin on April 16 and continue through the fall. This is the final upgrade to a phased project that began in 2005, which provides Aspen with additional back-up supply of natural gas and provides for the area’s expected growth.

Work will take place along McLain Flats Road, from the intersection Smith Hill Way to Trentaz Drive, nearly Woody Creek. The existing line is two inches and does not have the capacity to carry the needed amount of natural gas to residents in Aspen. By increasing the new line six inches, which will be the same size as the line east of Trentaz Drive, we’ll be able to provide an additional, reliable back-up supply and meet customers’ future needs.

Project updates

Mclain Flats natural gas construction, Colorado

8/12/19 - Approximately 80% of new pipeline construction has been completed. However, progress over the next two months will be slower, as we are entering a more time-consuming phase of the project. Tighter workspace as construction proceeds down the hill and removal of large rocks, some of which are more than six feet in diameter, have slowed the pace of construction.

Additionally, traffic impacts have increased due to the smaller workspace allowed by conditions, and traffic holds are longer, with an average delay of three to five minutes when crews are on the road. If possible, drivers should consider an alternate route to avoid the area. RFTA will be picking up and dropping off riders on the opposite side of the construction zone.

7/17/19 - Installation of the new pipeline is more than two-thirds complete and currently ahead of schedule. Construction is now nearing the intersection of McLain Flats and White Star, and will continue to proceed north. As construction begins to move down the hill, the pace of work will slow due to tighter working conditions. This week, crews will also begin paving driveways that the installation crossed.

7/1/2019 - The installation of new pipeline is over half complete, and the overall project is currently slightly ahead of schedule. Construction is currently near the entrance to the Thomas Moore property, and is continuing to proceed north from there. Disrupted road crossings will be paved this week. Crews will be working Monday through Wednesday this week, and will resume work on Monday, July 8th following the 4th of July holiday.

6/20/19 - Approximately one-third of the pipeline installation is complete for the McLain Flats project. Despite delays due to weather and large rocks, the project is on schedule. Repaving of the road in areas that have been disturbed is expected to be completed in the coming week. Construction is now taking place north of 1765 McLain Flats Road Driveway, and is continuing to proceed North.

6/6/19 - The construction crew is currently working near the intersection of McLain Flats and Sunnyside Drive. Progress continues, but has been slowed by weather conditions and large rocks in the construction path.

5/21/19 - Construction continues to move west toward Sunny Lane on the north side of the road. Winter weather conditions have slowed progress on the project, but repaving will resume once the weather permits. Work will be suspended from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27 for the holiday weekend, and will resume on Tuesday, May 28.

5/13/19 - Crews are continuing to move west along McLain Flats Road toward Sunnyside Lane, and construction has moved to the northeast side of the road. Traffic delays when crews are working continue to be minor, with an average delay of approximately two minutes.

4/29/2019 - Crews have completed installations on the southwest side of McLain Flats Road. The project now crosses the road to the north side and work will continue to move west.  Traffic delays when crews are working have been minor, with an average delay of less than two minutes.

Traffic impacts

Traffic will be limited to one lane on McLain Flats Road during the project. If possible, we recommend finding an alternate route to avoid anticipated delays.

Traffic control flaggers will be onsite from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and stop and go lights will handle traffic from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Work will occur from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 

We understand construction can be an inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to meet Aspen’s future energy needs.

Frequently asked questions

There is not another route that easily provides a back-up system to Aspen. Black Hills is finishing the final phase of this project that began in 2005 to install a new six inch pipeline into Aspen. This phase will complete the system.

Due to the amount of rock in the area and working in a tight right-of-way, our crew will need to work patiently and methodically. We anticipate completing about 100 feet of natural gas line per day, which will bring the project to completion in late September or early October.

In some areas it will have to be placed in the road as there is no longer room along the edge of the road with other utilities.

Some of the existing above-ground regulator stations will be removed as part of this project. Some customers may need to be temporarily disconnected while this work is being done. Those customers will be contacted in advance by a Black Hills Energy technician to arrange for a relight of any appliances before the gas is shut off.

The existing line is two inches and does not have the capacity to carry the needed amount of natural gas to residents in Aspen. By increasing the new line six inches, which will be the same size as the line east of Trentaz Drive, we’ll be able to provide a reliable back-up supply and meet customers’ future needs.

The construction hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The will be no work done on Sunday or holidays.

Yes. One lane of McLain Flats Road will be closed from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Both lanes will be open outside of working hours, except in areas where the natural gas line is in the roadway. One lane will need to remain closed until construction in these section is completed.

Flaggers will control traffic from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and stop and go lights will handle traffic from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Delays will depends on the flow of traffic and what construction activities are taking place at the time, but could be up to five minutes. It would be best to plan alternate routes, if possible.

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