Relocation Of Natural Gas Piplines In Ridges Basin Area Is Nearing End

Media Contact: Pat Schumacher, (970) 385-6590

For Release: October 14, 2003

(DURANGO, CO) - The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that the relocation of several utility (gas) pipelines in the Ridges Basin area is nearing completion. The pipelines are being relocated to support general construction activities for the Animas-La Plata Project. In mid-August, Gregory and Cook, a commercial contractor, completed construction activities for the new pipeline sections and began to divert the flow of gas through the new route. The new pipeline is located just north of the perimeter where Ridges Basin Reservoir will be located. The original gas pipelines, which are now being removed, ran directly through the Ridges Basin Reservoir area. Reclamation engineers anticipate that the final phase of this relocation effort will be completed in Fall 2003, with a reseeding and recontouring of the new right-of-way area.

Relocation of the gas pipelines began in May 2003. The work included excavation and trenching activities along an approximately 6.3 mile right-of-way corridor. Approximately 7,000 feet of horizontal boring was necessary to facilitate the installation of a 36" inch diameter pipeline through the northeast flank of Carbon Mountain. Activities included the stringing, welding and burying of sections of 10, 16 and 26 inch diameter pipeline. The new pipeline is owned and operated by MAPCO and Northwest Pipe. In total, approximately, 27 miles of new pipeline was installed.

Completion of the pipeline relocations will allow project workers to move forward with general excavation activities for Ridges Basin Dam. This work is anticipated to begin in early 2004.

The Animas-La Plata Project fulfills the purposes of the 1988 Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act and the Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendment of 2000. The project will provide the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes with a reliable water supply for their future needs, while protecting scarce water resources for existing water users in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

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