UNIVERSITY PARK — Installation begins Monday of the new 12-inch, high-pressure pipeline that will funnel natural gas to the West Campus steam plant.
Pipe for the project was delivered this week, and work will begin next week in two locations.
One is along the east side of Porter Road, in the area of Penn State’s swine research facilities and the East Campus steam plant. Work will move south on Porter to the Columbia Gas meter near the Centre Furnace Mansion.
Because the work will take place in the swine pastures, university officials don’t anticipate it will affect traffic.
“OPP has even moved the fencing around the Swine Research Center on Porter Road so that the pigs will not be disturbed by pipeline work,” said Office of Physical Plant spokesman Paul Ruskin.
The other work site is along the north side of Park Avenue, in front of the Arboretum. Installation will take place from the Schreyer House driveway toward an anticipated bore pit in front of the Katz Building. Work is expected to move east and cross Bigler Road before Oct. 11.
If work to Bigler is not complete by then, crews will patch the pipeline trench or otherwise adjust so that it doesn’t affect traffic during university homecoming activities.
Ruskin said that OPP will stage the initial work in the Arboretum’s green areas to avoid affecting football traffic and parking.
After homecoming weekend, the Park Avenue crew will move to the orange B parking lot near Beaver Stadium.
The Columbia pipeline will serve the steam plant as part of a conversion from coal, to meet federal air quality standards starting in 2016. The original pipeline route was planned under State College neighborhood streets, causing outrage among residents.
The pipeline now will originate at a current Columbia line near Porter Road, travel to and along University Drive, cross and travel along Park Avenue, turn south on Shortlidge Road, proceed to Curtin Road, and travel along Burrowes Road and, finally, along an alley to connect at the steam plant.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter.