Construction and Restoration
We realize that construction is disruptive and challenging for customers, but we are committed to working with each and every neighborhood along the route to help make the process as smooth as possible. Our goal is to minimize construction impacts, so our teams dedicate much of their planning time to evaluate each step of the process: pre-construction, construction, restoration and long term. We coordinate our construction efforts with local community leaders to help ensure pedestrian and traffic safety throughout construction.
Construction occurs in a deliberate sequence, which starts with land surveys and ends with full property restoration, as shown in the graphic below. The steps with the most impact on the community are generally steps four through 15 when the heavy construction is taking place. During this phase, it helps to consider the many long-term benefits of a new infrastructure constructed with state-of-the-art materials and inspection and monitoring equipment.
- Survey and staking
- Front-end grading
- Right-of-way topsoil stripping
- Re-staking trench centerline
- Trenching (wheel ditcher)
- Trenching (rock)
- Padding trench bottom
- Stringing pipe
- Field bending pipe
- Line-up, initial weld
- Fill and cap, final weld
- As-built footage
- X-ray inspection, weld repair
- Coating field welds
- Inspection and repair of coating
- Lowering pipe into trench
- As-built survey
- Pad, backfill, rough grade
- Hydrostatic testing, final tie-in
- Replace topsoil, final cleanup and restoration
Heavy equipment – such as excavators, cranes, rough terrain forklifts, track hoes, dump trucks, side booms and welding equipment – is often necessary to construct large natural gas infrastructure. While construction can take months, use of this equipment and associated construction on individual properties is much shorter in duration. Side booms are used to move pipe during the project. The side boom lifts the pipe after it has been welded together and gently lays it into the trench.
We aim to construct each project with the least possible impact on property owners and the environment; however, infrastructure construction and installation often require disturbances to private property. Restoring property is an important part of that construction process.
Any work done on property not owned by Piedmont Natural Gas is negotiated with the property owner through an easement. There are temporary easements, which are only granted over a short duration for construction purposes, and permanent easements, which grant Piedmont Natural Gas access to a specific portion of property during the life of an infrastructure. Any property disturbed by construction will be restored by Piedmont Natural Gas and/or its contractors.
Depending on the time of year that construction takes place, temporary restoration will occur as construction progresses. In many cases, crews will wait to do final restoration until construction on the entire infrastructure is complete and the infrastructure is operational.