WILKES-BARRE — City Council on Thursday will consider entering into an easement agreement with UGI to install a 12-inch natural gas transmission line in the city’s Brookside section.
The new line will take the place of one that runs under Pennsylvania Avenue. The new line will run from the Johnson Street regulator station to Conyngham Avenue, said Butch Frati, the city’s director of operations.
UGI will pay the city $10,200 for the easement, he said.
Frati said the new line will run under Oakley Lane, crossing at North Washington Street and then run along the levee to near the Cross Valley Expressway to Conyngham Avenue.
The new line will alleviate a dangerous situation along Pennsylvania Avenue, he said. He said the old line was often in need of repair and, as a result, the street was dug up several times, creating a rough driving surface.
Once the new line is installed, Frati said, the old line will be purged and capped and will remain underground.
Council Vice Chairman Tony George expressed concern about the possibility that property values on Oakley Lane would be devalued. He also asked if the installation would create a dangerous situation on Oakley Lane.
“I can’t answer the property value question,” Frati said. “But I will say that the current line under Pennsylvania Avenue constitutes a dangerous situation.”
Frati said UGI will pave all areas that are excavated. He also said the new line is a transmission line; no homes or businesses are served off of the line, he said.
Frati also told council that the plan was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Public Utility Commission. He said the new line will consist of 12-inch steel pipe.