Greeley: New pipeline through LaPorte may utilize tunneling rather than trenching

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

Boring a route for the pipeline would cost “millions” more than digging a trench, but it would still be less expensive than trying to run the pipeline along other routes, said Jon Monson, director of water and sewer for Greeley. Tunneling also poses less of a threat to bridges that carry a historic railroad near the south bank of the Poudre River as well as irrigation ditches on the properties, he said. “Either way we go would be expensive,” Monson said. “We thought tunneling would give us the best shot at avoiding the bridges and minimizing the environmental impacts through this area.”

But some affected property owners said they are not impressed with Greeley’s tunneling proposal and plan to continue fighting the pipeline. “I’m not a bit interested in their plan,” said Rose Brinks. “It would still be extremely disruptive to our farm.” Brinks said running the pipeline across her land would cause irreparable harm to historic and natural resources on the property. The pipeline’s presence would impede her family’s ability to develop the property if they chose to do so, she said. The Colorado Historical Society has indicated the property would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Brinks said. The designation could affect Greeley’s ability to get a permit for the project from the Army Corps of Engineers, she said…

Tunnels would be bored along an area about a quarter of a mile long, said Dan Moore, project manager for the pipeline. Surface disruption over tunneled area would look like a “Jeep road” rather than a 30-foot wide swath that would come with an open trench. “The whole idea is that we will try to use the bores where practical to reduce impact and make the restoration efforts a lot successful,” Moore said…

Digging the tunnel would cost about $3 million. But the route is still preferable to alternatives, such as running the pipeline down County Road 54G and disrupting many businesses and homes, Monson said.

More coverage here and here.

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