The push is on to finish a crude oil pipeline that runs through much of Michiana.
Perhaps you've seen some of the work on the Enbridge Crude Oil Pipeline project that began in July.
Perhaps you've seen the green, eighty foot sections of pipe. We're told each of those sections weighs six tons. The hope is this portion of the project, phase two, will wrap up in December, around Christmas time.
In order to meet that deadline, crews are now working 24 hours a day, in two shifts of 12 hours each, and they're doing that six days a week.
The pipeline now being replaced, as originally installed in 1968
So that leaves a lot of room for improvement, in pipeline technology, when you compare the new one to the old one.
“So the pipe we're installing is heavier walls higher grade steel, it’s got a better coating on it,” says Tom Hodge from Enbridge. “We're using automatic welding process which is now available back in the late 60’s. Every weld is going to be either x-rayed or inspected using ultra-sonics. The pipeline will be filled with water and hydrostatically tested once it’s put in the ground. So we feel like we're installing as safe a pipeline as can be done. And it'll be a big improvement over the existing 30 inch line that's been in service since the late sixties.”
Of course you can't discount the pipeline's economic impact locally.
It’s estimated that pipeline workers spend some $600,000 a week on consumables, things like laundry, to restaurants and auto parts. The crews are based out of three sites along the pipeline route, one of them, is Niles.