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Cast Iron Replacement Project

Mobile Gas Service Corporation is making improvements to its underground natural gas piping system. We are replacing our aging, cast iron pipes with plastic piping; making it safer, less vulnerable to cracks, leaks and buckling. We started making the improvements more than 20 years ago and hope to complete the project by 2024.

As we are making improvements throughout the Mobile Gas service area, there may be a chance your community could be affected. Here is what you need to know about what we are doing and how the cast iron replacement project could affect you.

What is the cast iron replacement project? 

Cast iron was one of the earlier materials used in natural gas and other utility pipe construction throughout the nation.  Because of this, the federal government has mandated that all natural gas distribution companies systematically remove cast iron piping from their systems.  The older cast iron pipes are being replaced with new plastic pipe that should have a longer life span and be easier to service.

What can I expect from the cast iron replacement project? 

At the beginning of the cast iron replacement project, line locators will visit the project area and mark of all of the existing underground utilities.  Additionally, survey crews may visit the area and mark the existing road right-of-ways.  After this has been done, the project contractors will move project equipment to the project area and begin their work. 

Once work begins, the contractors will use directional boring equipment to bore new plastic gas mains into the ground.  When this is being done, the contractors will be required to create

4’ x 4’ openings in the roadways or lawn areas, depending on the proposed location for the new main.  These openings allow the placement of the new main.  Once the new main has been placed, it will be pressure tested, connected to the existing gas main and filled with gas.  Once this has been done, the contractor will connect the existing gas services to the new main.  Following this, the existing gas main will be severed, capped and purged of its gas. 

 The last step in the process is the repair of any openings made in the project area during the course of project construction activities.  Any openings made in lawn areas will be smoothed and resodded.  Any openings made in the roadway, driveways or sidewalks will be temporarily repaired with a temporary asphalt cold patch.  After approximately three months, the temporary patches will be replaced with new, smoother asphalt in the roadways and new concrete in sidewalk areas.

Why is Mobile Gas not removing the old pipe? 

The old pipe will be retired in place to minimize the disruption to surrounding properties.

What will happen if my property is disturbed? 

Generally, project work will only be performed within the roadway or road right-of-way. In some instances, existing gas services will need to be modified at the meter next to the customer’s residence. Meter modifications usually only require minor piping changes at the meter and above ground. If required work is performed in the portion of the road right-of-way of where you maintain as lawn area, any holes that are created will be filled, leveled and resodded. Any landscaping disturbed will be replaced in-kind at the completion of project activities along that roadway.

Will my street be closed? 

The contractor will be required to always keep one lane of the roadway open for through traffic.

How will the project affect my morning and evening commutes? 

Generally, the contractor’s work day will be restricted to between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM. Therefore, the cast iron replacement project should not be occurring at the time most residents are leaving and returning from work. 

How long will the cast iron replacement project last in my neighborhood?

The cast iron replacement project will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average construction time is 30 to 45 working days, depending on weather and other factors.

Will my gas service be affected? 

Mobile Gas customers will have their natural gas service temporarily interrupted only for the brief period when their existing gas service line is being connected to the new gas main.  After that, a Mobile Gas service technician will relight any natural gas appliances affected by the interruption in gas flow.

Who can I contact if I have questions or need more information about the cast iron replacement project in my neighborhood?

Mobile Gas will continue to provide community updates, if needed. However, if you need more information, or have questions, you may contact Kesshia Davis, Director of Marketing & Community Relations at Mobile Gas: 251-450-4703. Additionally, questions can also be directed to Tammy Garrett, Engineering Associate at Mobile Gas: 251-450-4726.