County grants permit for new Xcel gas line | VailDaily.com

County grants permit for new Xcel gas line

EAGLE, Colorado – This week Eagle County approved a special use permit to allow construction of a nearly eight-mile long new high press natural gas line under U.S. Highway 6 from Edwards to Eagle-Vail.

The construction will affect traffic this summer, but Xcel Energy pledged to do all it can to minimize impacts and work around special events such as the Avon Independence Day celebration and Ride the Rockies.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has noted it typically doesn’t allow construction of high pressure natural gas lines under roads, but the nature of this valley combined with the need for the improvement convinced CDOT to approve the project because there is no other viable option.

As it prepares to launch construction, Xcel Energy is inviting residents of Eagle County to the latest in a series of open houses to discuss the project. Construction scheduled to begin the week of May 16.

The latest Xcel Energy open house is slated today, May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Avon Public Library

Xcel says it is proactively replacing 7.8 miles of 6-inch, high-pressure natural gas line with 16-inch pipe to meet growing customer demand and improve natural gas reliability in the region. The work is scheduled to continue through October 2011. Without increasing the natural gas line’s capacity, the company estimates that the communities of Avon, Minturn, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Summit, Grand, Lake and Chaffee counties may experience natural gas shortages in the winter of 2011.

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Anyone interested in receiving weekly email construction updates can sign up online at the project’s website, xceledwards-minturnhpgaspipeline.com, or can call the project’s hotline at 1-877-481-6380.