Pipeline replacement project set

Published 9:42 pm Saturday, July 29, 2017

Work will begin this week to replace a section of pipe that’s more than 50 years old that carries refined petroleum products under the Nansemond River.

Colonial Pipeline, which owns the pipe, has detected possible anomalies on tests that caused some concern, said Trent Allen, operations manager for Colonial Pipeline Virginia.

“We didn’t like what came back,” he said about the results of the tests.

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The decision has been made to replace the pipe, which was constructed in the 1960s and carries products such as gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and home heating oil.

The pipe carries the products from the main line to a location in Chesapeake, where trucks pick it up and transport it to the gas stations and other destinations. It can move between 189,000 and 210,000 gallons per hour, Allen said.

The pipe supplies the vast majority of gasoline sold in Hampton Roads, Allen said.

The section of 14-inch pipe that will be replaced is about 9,200 feet long and runs from the general area of John Yeates Middle School on the east side of the river to Ferry Point Road on the west side.

The new pipe will be bored 90 feet below the riverbed, Allen said. After the new pipe is connected, the old one will be filled with an inert material.

The pipe will be down for 24 to 48 hours, Allen said. The entire project will take two to three months, during which folks on both sides of the river are likely to see construction equipment at the school and near Ferry Point Road.

A temporary barrier will be installed between the equipment staging area and the school before the school year begins.

Malesia Dunn, director of communications and public relations for Colonial Pipeline, said the company has talked with nearby residents about the project.

For information about the project, call Dunn at 678-762-2677.