Dallas-based natural gas distributor Atmos Energy is installing nearly five miles of pipes in the land surrounding the University of Dallas campus to replace the current gas pipeline, which is over 50 years old. Workers began pulling the pipe into bored holes on Tuesday, just east of Wildwood Drive.
“They’ve been in the ground for so long, there might be an issue with them,” Atmos field coordinator Ronnie Linton said.
The new system will consist of 24-inch diameter high pressure steel pipelines weaving through the ground from California Crossing and Luna Road to the south of the John W. Carpenter Freeway, according to Linton.
“They’re going to basically pull that pipe underground without having to open any new trenches,” City of Irving senior civil engineer Matthew Estridge said.
Though construction began a few weeks ago, the pipe installation phase through the open cut behind the UD Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) stop is one of the more significant steps. Curious students are welcome to watch, so long as they stay west of Wildwood.
The six-month project avoids the area under Las Colinas that holds the old pipes, due to structural difficulties.
UD Director of Facilities Jerry Haba said campus energy will not be impacted, though UD owns the land. DART also does not anticipate any construction-related issues, and has no plans for station changes in the coming months.
Atmos has also employed workers who will ensure traffic isn’t backed up. Linton assured that the route from campus to Spec’s would not be affected.