ANDOVER — The Select Board called upon Columbia Gas representatives at the Monday night meeting to provide a safety presentation before members will vote on additional gas main replacement work the utility is seeking to do.
Columbia Gas wants to replace 2,300 feet of cast iron and bare steel gas main on Hidden Road, Gardner Avenue and Forbes Street. The replacement would keep the main at the same pressure it is now — intermediate — instead of increasing it to a high-pressure main.
Representatives said in seven to 10 years, the utility would come back to upgrade the main to high pressure through the same infrastructure installed now, making it less impactful to the community.
Columbia Gas also sought approval from the board to install 40 feet of gas main from the existing main on Charlotte Drive. Additionally, they want to replace 2,800 feet of cast iron and bare steel gas main on High Plain Road, and 1,000 feet on Virginia and Shirley roads.
The work on High Plain, Virginia and Shirley roads would replace the low-pressure gas main with plastic high pressure.
The work would take about 60 days to complete and 64 residents' homes or businesses would be impacted, representatives at the meeting said.
While the work is being done, gas service could be out in homes for up to eight hours. Residents and businesses would be able to coordinate the eight-hour time frame with Columbia Gas workers.
The board, however, was hesitant to move forward with the project before ensuring total safety for anyone that would be impacted.
"I have to be honest, I can't tell you how disappointed I am and continue to be with Columbia Gas," said Select Board member Christian Huntress. "I expect before I vote on any of these, that I will see a detailed presentation on the safety procedures that have been put in place since Sept. 13. This was no small incident. This was a big deal to this community."
Huntress said the answers the board and public were receiving on the project's safety were "inadequate."
The representatives will come before the board Sept. 24 to provide a safety presentation and revisit approval of the work.