Link to Calhoun county about the Enbridge repair below.
Enbridge reports line 6b replacement project will continue throughout fall.
Problems on the east side of state.
Enbridge pipeline work pushed back to spring Connection
Workers from Precision Pipeline, a contractor for Enbridge, Inc., check the location of an existing pipeline Thursday at the Enbridge oil pipeline right-of-way near Gratiot Avenue and Wadhams Road in St. Clair Township. / JEFFREY SMITH/TIMES HERALD
Written by Beth LeBlanc –Times Herald
A path of upturned soil and cleared trees that cuts through St. Clair County will remain as is until next spring.
Enbridge, Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, has pushed back construction of its pipeline in Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties until spring 2014.
The project, which replaces Line 6B from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, will carry crude oil to refineries.
Work on the 210-mile, $1.3 billion pipeline was supposed to wrap this year, but delays in environmental approvals stalled work, said Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum.
Manshum said waiting until spring to excavate and install the pipeline will sidestep weather issues.
“We can avoid construction challenges and potential damages associated with freezing weather, including road frost bans and slippery road conditions,” Manshum said, in an email.
Dan Dancer, public affairs construction liaison for Enbridge, said crews will clear the right of ways for the route, but will stop short of grading.
“What we want to do is do what’s manageable this year in preparing for next year’s construction,” Dancer said.
Excavation, installation and restoration will occur in the spring, Manshum said. He expects work to finish by mid-2014.
The pipeline crosses through St. Clair Township, Columbus Township, and Marysville.
“It’s kind of been a big mess so far,” said Columbus Township Supervisor Bruce Christy. “I hate to see it stretch into the spring.
“It’s cutting right through the whole township. It’s quite a mess, but I’m sure they’ll put it all back together.”
St. Clair Township Supervisor Brian Mahaffey said the delays are inconvenient.
“Everything’s going to be a mess for an extended period of time,” he said. “It creates problems for me.”
Mahaffey and Christy said damage to the roadways and bridges are a concern of many residents, but the county road commission is keeping a close eye on construction.
Enbridge’s 210-mile replacement project hasn’t been without incident. In June, a Kalamazoo man protested the company’s operations by lodging himself in an Enbridge pipeline near Marshall for about 10 hours.
In October, St. Clair Township residents were upset by Enbridge’s plans for a large pump station near the roadway of a residential area.
The new building will be 75 feet by 130 feet, and 52 feet high at its highest point. Township residents wanted the structure relocated back from the road, but Enbridge said wetlands at the back of the property prevented it from building there.
“They’re going to plant taller trees than I asked for, but they aren’t going to move it back,” Mahaffey said. He added Enbridge also planned to give the township $10,000 to pave the roadway in the area around the pump station.
St. Clair Township resident Karen Ulrich didn’t seem to mind the construction.
“There’s been lots of activity here on our property,” Ulrich said. “Everybody’s been good to us.”
On Thursday, crews were working in Ulrich’s backyard, clearing the right of way and “potholing.” Potholing involves drilling with water down to existing pipelines to mark their location.
Ulrich knows the work will increase in the spring, but her past interactions with Enbridge lead her to believe they’ll restore the land they disturb.
“They’re always very good at putting everything back to where it was and I’m expecting the same this time,” she said.
Randall Fernandez, assistant city manager for Marysville, said the city was notified of the delay in early November. Enbridge will meet with the city council after Thanksgiving to discuss the project, Fernandez said.
“They’ve been a good corporate citizen in our area,” Fernandez said. “We’re taking a wait and see attitude until we can meet with them.”