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DES MOINES, Iowa – (May 14, 2019) – MidAmerican Energy Company has begun a five-year, $72 million project to upgrade natural gas distribution systems and equipment for nearly 18,000 residential and business customers in the Quad Cities and Iowa City.
 
This month, MidAmerican Energy will begin to replace 343 miles of low-pressure distribution systems with modern intermediate-pressure distribution systems. The company plans to complete the project in 2024.
 
In Iowa, MidAmerican Energy will replace gas lines and equipment in portions of Davenport and Iowa City. In Illinois, the company will upgrade systems in parts of East Moline, Moline, Rock Island and Silvis. Areas within these cities that are not part of the project already have intermediate-pressure systems.
 
The company has no other remaining low-pressure systems in its four-state service territory.
 
Crews will also move more than 2,600 residential gas meters currently located inside homes to outside locations, which are easier to access without disturbing customers.
 
“Our top priority is to deliver safe and reliable natural gas to our customers,” Alicia Knapp, MidAmerican Energy vice president of gas delivery, said. “Replacement of our low-pressure distribution systems is part of a strategic plan to ensure that we do that well into the future.”

Preliminary work now underway
MidAmerican Energy is currently adding dozens of monitoring and gas pressure control points to enhance existing safety systems during the upgrade project. Crews are currently installing the temporary monitoring and control equipment in advance of replacing the low-pressure systems. The equipment includes an above-ground pole with an electrical box and a solar panel for power. The equipment will remain in place until crews replace respective sections of the system.

Underground pipe replacements and meter relocations begin this month
Starting next week in parts of East Moline, MidAmerican Energy will begin to replace underground pipes, including gas mains along streets and service lines on customers’ properties. Crews will also begin to move gas meters that are currently inside homes and buildings to outside locations.
 
This year, crews will replace systems in portions of the following cities:
East Moline: May 20-June
Silvis: June-July
Iowa City: July-August
Moline: August-October
 
The company will notify affected residents and businesses about planned work on their property and in their neighborhood, significant project developments and anticipated service disruptions, which will be minimized to the fullest extent possible. “We want to minimize how this project impacts our customers and keep an open line of communication with them, so homeowners and business owners know what to expect and when to expect it in their neighborhood,” Knapp added.

Upgrade part of ongoing systems enhancement initiative
MidAmerican Energy continually upgrades and enhances its systems to deliver safe and reliable energy to customers through its ongoing Safety Through Asset Reliability (STAR) initiative.
 
Last year, the company’s STAR projects included installing specialized animal guards at electric substations, replacing natural gas meter, regulator and odorant systems, and installing hundreds of smart devices on electric lines that instantly transmit outage and location details to MidAmerican Energy operators when sensing a service interruption.
Natural Gas System Project
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