WESTBROOK – Starting on June 3, Unitil workers will be doing construction on Main Street between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. to install a new, high-powered gas main.

Eric Dudley, city engineer, said work will take place four nights a week for five weeks between Bridge and Stroudwater streets.

“They are running excavating equipment so there will be noise throughout the time they’re working,” Dudley said.

There may be noise, but the night work will allow traffic patterns to continue to operate smoothly during the day. Dudley said a 2-foot-wide gravel trench will be dug along the street and once a week that trench will be paved over and a new one dug up.

The night work is part of Unitil’s cast-iron main upgrade program. Unitil has other projects going on in Westbrook, as well, installing new services connections and adding a new gas line. Residents in the New Gorham Road area and travelers going from the Main Street spur up to New Gorham Road will see more construction.

Dudley said most of the work is being done on side streets and alternating one-way traffic will be used to keep vehicles moving.

Alec O’Meara, Unitil’s media relations manager, said the company is in the third year of a 14-year long project, replacing more than 100 miles of old cast-iron and steel pipe lines in the greater Portland area, an aggressive projects in terms of scope and time for the company. But this summer will mark the end of work in Westbrook.

“We’ll be wrapping up work related to Westbrook this summer. We’ve been working there the past couple of years,” O’Meara said.

The first street to be affected by the Unitil construction will be New Gorham Road, where residents will see construction workers begin to dig up the road as early as May 13.

“When we are doing this kind of work on a given street and replacing pipeline, it’s the ideal time for customers on the street to convert from oil to natural gas,” O’Meara said.

Unitil customers considering switching should call their customer service numbers to see if they are close enough to a natural gas line to switch, said O’Meara.

O’Meara said in the past few years, natural gas prices have dropped, making the fuel a more lucrative option for many homeowners. Five years ago natural gas was comparably priced to oil.


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