Unitil, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, has completed 2016 work on its System Upgrade for Reliable Energy (SURE) project in several Portland neighborhoods, including Allen Avenue, Northgate Plaza, Park Street, Danforth Street, Pleasant Street, High Street, Wellwood Street, Torrey Street, and Hersey Street. The Unitil SURE project, a 14-year initiative, is modernizing the Portland area's gas infrastructure, making it more reliable and better able to meet the growing demand for natural gas in Maine.
More than five miles of gas main have been replaced or upgraded to a higher pressure since the start of construction in April. This includes over 12,000 feet of new gas main installed along Anderson Street and Locust Street in conjunction with the City of Portland's reconstruction project. Approximately 350 customers were upgraded during the course of construction.
"Year over year, Unitil continues to make system reliability and improving local infrastructure a priority for our customers," said Matt Doughty, Unitil's SURE project manager. "We're incredibly grateful to the residents and businesses in the Portland area for their cooperation and understanding during this year's construction."
NEUCO, the contractor for Unitil’s SURE project, began replacement of gas mains and service lines throughout the Portland area in April of this year.
Work will continue in the spring of 2017 in Portland including Ocean Avenue, Pleasant Avenue, and Woodford Corner. Unitil expects to replace 2 miles of main line, improve 1 mile of line, and upgrade 250 customers.
Unitil was recently recognized by the American Gas Association for having best practices regarding its natural gas operations and the SURE project. Specifically, the AGA recognized Unitil for its effectiveness in aggressively replacing cast iron pipes in a cost effective manner, as well as the company’s ability to manage contractors working on its system.
In six years, Unitil has completed approximately 48% of the 14-year long project. For the latest information about the SURE project and construction schedules, please visit www.ngupgrade.com or call Unitil’s toll-free hotline 1-866-821-4386.
Unitil is focused on the safety of its customers and encourages natural gas customers to be aware of steps they can take to keep their property and loved ones safe. For comprehensive safety information, including gas emergency tips, please visit www.unitil.com/gassafety.