NiSource is planning to spend $1.5 million to improve roads in Mahoning County
By Burton Speakman
NiSource is planning to spend $1.5 million to improve roads in Mahoning County that will be damaged through the company’s construction of pipeline and a natural-gas processing facility.
The project will include upgrades to Rapp, Felger, South Range and Metz roads in Springfield Township; Cowden, Moore, Arrel and Kansas roads in Poland Township as well as county roads Miller and Columbiana. Work will begin Monday and is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 31.
“The communities of Mahoning County have been extremely supportive of the natural-gas industry and have welcomed NiSource Midstream Services into the area warmly,” said Chad Zamarin, chief operating officer at NiSource Midstream Services in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to give back to the citizens of the area in a way that will enhance the living conditions and contribute to the safety of the residents in and around Mahoning County.”
Though road-use agreements between companies and government agencies are typical, the one with NiSource and Mahoning County is not based on the scope of the improvements, said Patrick Ginnetti, Mahoning County engineer.
The agreements between companies and government entities don’t mention specific dollar amounts for road improvements from damages, but NiSource putting $1.5 million into improving roads is larger than most agreements, he said.
“They’re going well above and beyond the minimum that was required,” Ginnetti said.
NiSource will pay to repave between 10 and 12 miles of road at no cost to the county or townships. In addition, in some areas the road will be reconstructed from the base layers as opposed to just repaved, he said.
“When we were talking back and forth with the company this is what they wanted to do because they wanted to make sure it was done right,” Ginnetti said.
NiSource Midstream Services is in the process of constructing the Hickory Bend Gathering System and processing plant in Springfield Township on behalf of Pennant Midstream, LLC, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year. Pennant is a joint venture between NiSource and Hilcorp Energy Co.
The scope of the Hickory Bend project includes approximately 55 miles of wet gas-gathering pipeline facilities in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, as well as the cryogenic natural-gas processing plant in Springfield Township along State Line Road. The plant cools the gas to separate the heavier natural-gas liquids from the lighter natural gas.
An initial phase of the project’s gathering system already is in service to support early Utica Shale production from Hilcorp, according to NiSource’s second-quarter earnings statement.