Friday, July 25, 2008

About that gas pipeline...

From SR69, it looks like another highway is being carved out of the chaparral, though, come to think about it, the word "shaved" is perhaps more appropriate. No modern highway would dare to go up and down the contours like this path. So what is it that is so visible from some stretches of highway as one motors down to Phoenix?

I'll quote from Zonie Report, which did a pretty good job of filling me in on the project: A 284-mile-long pipeline that soon could be delivering 500 million cubic feet of natural gas energy throughout Arizona and parts of New Mexico may be partially operational by this summer and fully functional by the end of the year. The pipeline will deliver energy to users throughout central and southern Arizona. A large portion will run through ranch lands in Yavapai County and snake southward around Phoenix toward Gila Bend before turning east toward Coolidge.

You may have noticed this steep "road" to the west at right angles to SR69 in the Mayer area; it is one of the two points where the pipeline crosses over (or under) the highway. South of this point, the project work heads down into the Turkey Creek and Black Canyon lowlands. It is being built by Transwestern Pipeline Company and connects near Ash Fork to the cross-country pipeline that runs roughly parallell to I-40 and serves primarily California. North of Prescott Valley, its route is to the east of SR89. The new pipeline, which is competitive with the existing El Paso Natural Gas line, will furnish fuel to nine power plants, including a pair operated by APS, as well as to smaller users.

Here the pipeline route is visible against the Bradshaws. These pictures above and below were taken in June en route to Crown King with the Sson. Rough country!

In a few places, the actual pipe (42" and 36" in diameter) was quite visible.

We did wonder about the dead porta-potty which we found along the Transwestern route. Was it just the usual louts at play -- or a protest at the latest invasion of the outback. We'll never know, of course.


Tony Reynolds said...

Good shots. We've noticed the work on our trips up and down SR69 and Hwy17 in the last year and figured it was the pipeline (big green pipes probably gave that away). I wonder if the "shaving" will cause less damage in the long run? Any idea if they are going to regrade the path to prior shape?

Anonymous said...

Is the piping of the natural gas going to have a positive effect on anything? Like cheaper prices for electricity. Just curious.

The Artful RV Adventurer said...

Looks like a porta potty prank to me... the new guy always gets "initiated" as such... on construction jobs.

Granny J said...

tony -- I doubt if the scar will ever be regraded -- a pipeline road is needed for maintenance & repair.

steve -- it might possibly keep prices from going up as much as they would otherwise (and how do you prove that one???)

mark -- I can believe in the initiation prank. It did stink.

Anonymous said...

Great photojournalism, GJ!

I've read a few online articles about the pipeline; interesting to see it "in action".

Initiation prank? Eeewwww!

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- actually, I didn't find very much about the pipeline when I went to The Google to flesh out my story. I had hoped to find the story, with pictures, about running the line under the Verde -- unlike the El Paso pipes,which cross close to the surface, just east of the old Santa Fe bridge at Sullivan canyon. Couldn't find the pictures -- did find a brief AZ Republic story.

DDD said...

Here is an article from the Daily Courier about the pipeline crossing the Verde. And some more photos.

grannyj said...

ddd -- thank you for locating the pix & the article.

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