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The original item was published from 8/1/2021 6:46:00 PM to 8/2/2021 5:23:50 PM.

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Posted on: July 31, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Pipeline construction almost done in Meadowbrook Manor

August 1 evening update: ET finished pounding the casing into the bore pit. There may be more loud work on Monday to finish up.  There also will be grouting around the sinkhole on Monday.

August 1 update:  A sinkhole opened above the pipe casing Saturday night. Active pipelines are not exposed or compromised. Inspectors from PA DEP and PA PUC were on site. Energy Transfer worked on Sunday to stabilize the sinkhole  

On Saturday, the casing had been advanced to the edge of the far side of the stream. They had one section left to install. To prevent the risk of the sinkhole becoming larger from stream water or rain, on Sunday Energy Transfer pounded that last section of pipe into place, which should end the string of sinkholes that have opened up along this bore path.  

July 31st update: Energy Transfer finished installing the pipeline casing under Valley Creek.  They have a one more section to complete on the other side of the creek which will involve pounding again.  After that, heavy construction work will be done in Meadowbrook Manor.  Finishing work, demobilization and landscape restoration will follow.

July 29th update: ET resumed pounding the casing into place. They  installed strain gauges on the operating pipelines as a monitoring tool. 

July 26th update: There was a rumor going around that there is a hazmat incident at the Briar Road pipeline construction in Meadowbrook Manor. It was NOT true. Apparently the rumor started when residents saw pipeline workers in safety gear and made incorrect assumptions. Energy Transfer installed gauges on the operating pipelines and the workers wore required fire retardant gear to do so, not hazmat gear.  

Background: In mid-July, Energy Transfer agreed to suspend construction in Meadowbrook Manor. DEP asked them to do that to allow time for Energy Transfer to investigate different construction methods that would be more likely to prevent sinkholes from opening as the 2 new pipelines were installed under Valley Creek. The previous method of auger boring resulted in numerous sinkholes opening along the bore path.

Energy Transfer proposed a different construction method in which the casing that surrounds the new pipes would be pushed into place via repeated percussive blows with a ramming tool powered by hydraulic forces. DEP authorized ET to conduct a test of this method in Meadowbrook Manor, which took place on July 23rd. Based on the results of that test and other information provided by ET, DEP approved a permit amendment related to work in the wetland and creek that was needed for construction to resume. This construction method was used to install the remaining pipeline in Meadowbrook Manor. The work proceeded significantly faster than the auger boring.

This is the same construction method that has been used to pound casing into the ground near horizontal directional drilling sites and it is very loud. People will hear it and feel vibrations for some distance away from the construction site. West Whiteland has encouraged ET to use all possible sound mitigation measures while the hammering is taking place. 

The loud hammering noise only take place a couple hours each day and was not be continuous.  After each segment of pipe was pushed into place, the next segment must be welded together. The timing was roughly 1 hour of ramming followed by 4 hours of welding.  

The 8" and 12" pipelines will continue to be in operation while construction is underway. Well points and strain gauges were installed to monitor those pipelines.

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