Skip to Main Content

Final Season of Work to Begin on SURE Project in Portland

2024 schedule announced as Unitil plans completion of pipeline improvement work this year.
Portland, ME

Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, plans to resume work in April on a pipeline improvement project in the Portland area that has spanned 14 years and is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Work is expected to begin on April 1 as part of the company’s System Upgrade for Reliable Energy (SURE) project, which involves replacing or upgrading nearly 125 miles of natural gas pipeline through Portland and Westbrook, Maine.

“This has been one of the largest projects Unitil has ever undertaken, and with the end now in sight, we’re looking forward to celebrating the final chapter of this multi-year initiative that has made our natural gas system safer and more efficient,” said Unitil External Affairs Director Alec O’Meara.

The project involves the replacement of older cast iron pipes and unprotected steel pipes with state-of-the-art plastic piping to allow the system to operate more efficiently and with improved safety and reliability. More than 62,000 feet of gas main is expected to be replaced or upgraded this year with another 22,200 feet of old low-pressure lines to be retired. Some 935 service lines are also expected to be upgraded within the planned work areas.

This year’s work will take place in three zones. A complete list of impacted streets can be found on Unitil’s website by visiting

The zones will include streets that have not yet been addressed in the following areas:

  • Streets bounded by and including Brighton Avenue to the north, Bradley Street to the west, Douglass Street to the east, and Congress Street to the south. Crews will also be working in the area along Stevens Avenue from Congress Street to approximately Fairview Street, including portions of some side streets.
  • Forest Avenue from Forest Glenn to Belmont Street, Deering Avenue from Forest Avenue to Route 295; Brighton Avenue from Douglass Street to Deering Avenue; and Saint John Street from Brighton Avenue to Falmouth Street, including work on some side streets.
  • The Park Avenue and Saint John Street intersection and Park Avenue to Lowell Street; Lowell Street; Congress Street from Lowell Street to Bramhall Street; Deering Avenue from Park Avenue to Congress Street; along with some streets in the West End, including parts of Vaughan, West, Clark, Neal, Brackett, and Winter streets along with a few others.

Additionally, this construction season will also include work known as “jack and bore,” which is a horizontal trenchless method to be performed under the rail line on Brighton Avenue between Douglass Street and Saint John Street. The work will take multiple weeks and involve a city-approved detour.

Unitil expects the final season of the project to wrap up by late fall, bringing an end to construction work that first began in 2011.

Drivers should be aware of the ongoing work and the potential for some delays in areas where one-way traffic is required. Some night work is anticipated this season in areas with heavy traffic.

New England Utility Constructors (NEUCO) is the contractor for the SURE project, which will allow Unitil to offer natural gas service to new customers who live near the existing pipeline. Residents and businesses in the neighborhood who are interested in switching to natural gas should call Unitil today at 1-888-4-UNITIL, or fill out an online form. For the latest information about the SURE project and construction schedules, please call Unitil at 1-800-808-4047.

For an updated project map, work zones, and a general summary of the work plan, please visit


About Unitil

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering electricity and natural gas in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 108,500 electric customers and 88,400 natural gas customers.


Media Contact

Alec O'Meara
Director, External Affairs