Summit Street construction end date Sept. 25, commuters inconvenienced

Julie Myers

Dominion East Ohio is spending $732,000 to replace 3,000 feet of steel pipe along Summit Street as part of the city’s Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement project.

Neil Durbin, spokesperson from Dominion East Ohio, said the original pipeline dates back to 1954 and is made out of steel. Replacing the line with plastic or coated metal pipeline will decrease the chance of erosion.

The project, which started on Aug. 7, is taking more than a month and a half to complete. Durbin attributes that to multiple factors. The time of the project depends on how much digging is necessary to extract the pipeline, whether cutting through sidewalk is necessary and whether the affected area is in a rural or downtown part of the city that has a lot of traffic flow. Weather depending, the work should be completed on schedule Sept. 25.

“This Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement is a long-term commitment by Dominion East Ohio to maximize the safety and reliability of our pipeline system,” Durbin said.

The pipeline replacement is part of a 25-year, $4 billion overall city project.

Senior psychology major Raquel Morson is among the many students dealing with congestion due to the construction.

“As a commuter student at Kent, it’s kind of an inconvenience to have construction so close to campus,” she said. “There’s also been gravel on the road, but I know that what they are doing needs to be done for the city of Kent.”

Cassady Killilea, sophomore pre-human development and family studies major, said, “I was around there the other day, and it looked like they were going to close one lane, but traffic wasn’t too bad.”

Residents who live along the pipeline will not have to replace their driveways after the work is done. Durbin said Dominion East Ohio has restoration contractors to come afterward and redo driveways, sidewalks and other problem areas. In addition, as part of the Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement, Dominion East Ohio will assume responsibility for the service line and, in most cases, replace it with no extra charge for the resident. This saves residents close to $2,000 in costs.

Julie Myers is the buildings and grounds reporter for the Daily Kent Stater.