MALONE — Two water crossings and weather issues have delayed progress on the 48-mile natural-gas pipeline being built in northern Franklin County.
Contractors are taking longer than anticipated to break through large rock formations under Farrington Brook and Little Salmon River, said Jim Ward, general manager of Enbridge-St. Lawrence Gas.
The company is building the $41 million transmission line from the St. Lawrence County Town of Norfolk east through the Town of Moira and into the Village of Chateaugay.
Service began in November for a handful of customers in the Brasher-Winthrop-North Lawrence area of St. Lawrence County, including North Country Dairy and St. Lawrence Central School District.
But efforts were slowed in Franklin County by recent extended cold weather and the region’s unforgiving terrain.
“They’re hitting solid rock in a lot of cases,” Ward said of the contractors. “They’re hoping to get the drilling done as soon as possible, but when it’s below zero, the drilling machine has a hard time.
“We’ve had to wait for good conditions to work.”
When the route for the pipeline was planned, he added, the company was aware of the rugged conditions, but it wasn’t until the actual work began in those areas that the severity of those challenges was seen firsthand.
“And it’s always hard work trying to go under a stream and rock, but we will continue our efforts to get it done,” Ward said.
LARGE USERS FIRST
Once the borings are finished and the pipe connections made, the line will be tested and conditioned to make sure it can begin accepting the natural gas.
Then the flow will be started.
And since construction began on both ends of the pipeline at the same time, the Agri-Mark/McCadam Cheese Plant in Chateaugay will have its service started as soon as possible, Ward said.