Xcel Energy to begin natural gas pipeline work along US 6 in Eagle County

May 13, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Single lane, alternating traffic US 6 to October - Next public meeting: June 2.

EAGLE COUNTY – Xcel Energy will begin work Monday to replace 7.8 miles of high-pressure natural gas pipeline along U.S. Highway 6, between Edwards and Minturn, Colo. (near Meadow Mountain). The construction work is expected to continue to October 2011.

Xcel Energy is proactively replacing the 6-inch, high-pressure natural gas line with 16-inch pipe, to meet growing customer demand for natural gas and improve reliability in the region.

The company has and will continue to work closely with local city, county and government officials, including the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to ensure the safety of the community and the traveling public.

Xcel will provide periodic updates on construction efforts, work zone location and potential traffic disruption as the project progresses along the highway.

Initially, traffic impacts are as follows:

  • Construction will take place generally from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M., Monday through Saturday;
  • Construction will end earlier on Fridays before holiday weekends and will also be suspended during some special summer and fall local events (posted on Xcel’s web site;
  • Work will be conducted within two separate work zones at a time, approximately one-half mile each; when gas line work is fully completed within a work zone, that segment will be permanently repaved and work will progress to a new zone.
  • Motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic directed by flagging personnel through each of the two work zones; the speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph approaching the work zones and to 25 mph through the work zones;
  • Weekly construction updates can be obtained by calling (877) 481-6380, or by visiting www.xceledwards-minturnhpgaspipeline.com (traffic impacts will also be posted on CDOT’s traveler information web site www.cotrip.org.)

On Monday, May 16, the company will start the project on U.S. Forest Service land near the Xcel Energy meter station close to Minturn. Crews will be working in the highway by Tuesday, May 17, near Edwards.

Without increasing the natural gas line’s capacity, the company estimates that the communities of Avon, Minturn, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Summit, Grand, Lake and Chaffee counties may experience natural gas shortages in the winter of 2011.

As a regulated utility, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission views this project as Xcel Energy performing regular maintenance on its infrastructure.

Xcel Energy has sponsored a series of open houses on the project since the fall of 2010. The next open house is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. June 2, at the Avon Public Library.