Overall Winner/Gas Distribution: MTNG 12-in. Steel Piping – Rock Island to Crossville Phase 2

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 installation of 98,300+/- linear feet of 12-in. steel gas pipe

The project involved the installation of 98,300+/- linear feet of 12-in. steel gas pipe

Cleary Construction of Tompkinsville, Kentucky, was awarded the 12-in. Steel Piping Rock Island to Crossville Phase 2 Gas Project by Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District (MTNG) in April 2021. The project involved the installation of 98,300+/- linear feet of 12-in. steel gas pipe, including almost 10,000 linear feet of directional bores for road and creek crossings, 102 linear feet installed on a future pedestrian bridge, valves and appurtenances, 4-in. steel work with line stopper, Dual Flow Regulator Station, and installation of 48,000 linear feet of gravel road and walking trail. This project tied into Phase 3 of this pipeline, which was also previously installed by Cleary, at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville, Tennessee, as well an existing 12-in. line 19 miles north at City Lake Road and Lantana Road in Crossville, Tennessee.

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This almost $22 million dollar phase was part of the single largest pipeline project in the MTNG District. The 12-in. Project required 11 phases, over 24 years of effort including the work of four different pipeline contractor companies and their subcontractors, incalculable hours by MTNG personnel, massive materials acquisition, the issue of bonds, tenacity, vision, bureaucratic wrangling, environmental protection, and a total price tag of $65 million. The pipeline’s 111-mile journey crossed Wilson, Rutherford, Cannon, Warren, White, Van Buren, Bledsoe, and Cumberland counties, spanning eight counties total. Cleary successfully completed the final Phase 2 in September 2022.

The service area of MTNG and the heart of this phase of the project extended along the Cumberland Plateau. This area is widely known for its natural sandstone rock and this phase of the project was along an almost entirely rock-laden route. 77,757 linear feet of the project required trenching, with only 11.86% of the project requiring other rock removal methods such as hoe- ramming and drilling and blasting to be applied. At one point in the job, there were three rock trenchers running simultaneously, the largest being Cleary’s own 230,000-pound Trencor trencher. With a tight timeline and such a substantial footage to install, opening the trench and removing the rock ahead of the pipe laying operations was the main driver for efficiency and production throughout this 19-mile project.

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Cleary Construction Inc. worked with multiple trusted suppliers and subcontractors

Cleary Construction Inc. worked with multiple trusted suppliers and subcontractors on this project

Challenges and Innovative Solutions

Along with the rocky terrain, the project hosted some very remote locations. Some points of the job were 4 miles into the woods via old logging roads that at times became impassable during bad weather or were limited to ATVs and 4-wheel drive vehicles. Thankfully, there were no accidents, but crews were prepared with emergency satellite phones and a detailed safety plan with a route to the nearest hospital in preparation. Remote locations also meant no cell phone service on most of the site, so crews utilized walkie-talkies daily to communicate back and forth where service was non-existent.

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Logistics such as loading/unloading materials, equipment, and sequence of work all had to be meticulously planned out to keep the job running smoothly. Tracking equipment back to the yard for maintenance or fuel was not always feasible without causing a significant delay, so crews utilized a fuel wagon and trucks that were equipped with fuel tanks to fuel the equipment each night.

Project Partners

Cleary Construction Inc. worked with multiple trusted suppliers and subcontractors on this project. The primary gas materials, including the Fusion Bond Epoxy and Power-Crete coated steel pipe and appurtenances as well as the valves and coating for the welds, were supplied by Consolidated Pipe and Supply. In order to complete such a large-scale project within the time frames MTNG needed, Cleary brought in James N. Bush Construction of Silver Point, Tennessee, to help with some of the trenching and installation. The stone on the project was supplied by Vulcan Materials Company, Rogers Group, and other local quarries. Trencher tailings were able to be used for a lot of the stone bedding under the pipeline, but due to the large amounts of stone needed for bedding in other areas, backfill, and gravel road repair, multiple suppliers were utilized to keep up with the volume. This project sourced stone from Crab Orchard all the way to Cookeville, Tennessee. A Texas-based directional drilling subcontractor, TWS Drilling and Construction LLC, performed the challenging horizontal directional drills. There was a total of 27 bores, ranging from 70 feet long all the way to 1,800 feet long, for a total of 9,982 feet. Asphalt paving, hot taps, and nitrogen testing were additional areas where subcontractors were utilized.

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Benefit to the Client and Community

MTNG representative Clifford Swoapes stated: “This 12-in. pipeline is not only a monumental accomplishment but was necessary and visionary. It is money incredibly well-spent. This pipeline provides natural gas capacity that enables industries and businesses to bring jobs and prosperity to the counties it serves. It provides families with the year-round comfort of natural gas heating, cooking, grilling, laundry, and hot water. Furthermore, the interconnections and natural gas storage space provided by this 12-in. line protect our system from emergencies that would shut down other utilities.” Tags: ,