Evansville-based Vectren Energy Delivery has begun this year's effort to replace gas mains and service lines throughout the state. The company says it will invest nearly $51 million this year to retire 80 miles of pipeline infrastructure in 26 cities. 

The effort is part of a multi-year program to replace about 1,200 miles of bare steel and cast-iron pipeline infrastructure in nearly 75 Indiana cities and towns, which began in 2008. Vectren says, in most cases, a plastic system is being installed to replace the current bare steel and cast-iron system and the gas mains will be moved within the right-of-way, instead of underneath the street or sidewalks where they are mostly located currently. 

"To ensure the continued reliability of our natural gas pipeline systems and service, Vectren continues our program to replace essentially all of our bare steel and cast-iron pipeline infrastructure in Indiana," said Richard Leger, vice president of natural gas distribution, Indiana and Ohio. "These infrastructure enhancements are vital to meeting federal requirements and ensuring safe delivery of natural gas service to our customers for decades to come."

The cities that will be impacted by the project this year include Anderson, Bedford, Bloomington, Chesterfield, Columbus, Crawfordsville, Dublin, Elwood, Evansville, Frankfort, Greenfield, Hagerstown, Huntington, Knightstown, Lafayette, Marion, Martinsville, Muncie, Parker City, Petersburg, Richmond, Rushville, Terre Haute, Tipton, Vincennes and Washington.

Vectren says the replacement work is being prioritized based on pipeline assessment and leak repair data, as well as the opportunity to minimize the construction impact to the affected cities. The utility has created an interactive map that displays all existing or upcoming work in each city, which can be viewed by clicking here.