Homer residents may have noticed construction crews installing sections of natural gas pipeline around town. After completing Phase One of the gasline build-out last year, Enstar Natural Gas Company is now working on Phase Two.
A long, 26,000-foot section of pipeline out to the end of the Homer Spit is already done.
Enstar spokesperson John Sims says 11 businesses out on the spit have already connected to the line, including Land’s End Resort, and about 30 more are on a waiting list to be hooked up. Sims says that part of the project was finished ahead of schedule, partially thanks to weather that cooperated.
Now, the focus is on the East Hill area.
"We have about 5,600 feet of main line in the East Hill area," says Sims." That's going pretty well."
Sims says construction in the East Hill area has been more challenging due to the winding, narrow roads and steep slopes. He asks that drivers be mindful of crews and flaggers working in the area.
He says Enstar has received a lot of feedback from residents who are concerned about digging in the right-of-way on their property and how that might affect things like water runoff and erosion.
"It can tend to be a shock," says Sims. "We've been hanging door tags before we come, to make sure people are aware of that. If there are ... some concerns about where the path is projected to be, the landowners need to get to us way ahead of time so we can try to plan around that, if that's possible."
Sims says Phase Two includes more than 38 miles of pipeline throughout the Homer area. He expects crews will be working through the summer and into the fall to make sure the project stays on schedule.
Sims says that so far, Enstar has signed up 670 new natural gas customers in the Homer area. That’s out of about 1,500 the company expects to have when the project is completed. He says interested residents can get quick construction updates on the Enstar Facebook page.