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Shoshone Municipal Pipeline 14-A pipeline project under way

In a trackhoe, Garney Wyoming employee Kyle Sweat backfills a ditch for the Shoshone Municipal Pipeline to relocate about 2.5 miles of pipe further from U.S. 14-A, thus allowing space for Wyoming Department of Transportation’s project to widen the highway. In a trackhoe, Garney Wyoming employee Kyle Sweat backfills a ditch for the Shoshone Municipal Pipeline to relocate about 2.5 miles of pipe further from U.S. 14-A, thus allowing space for Wyoming Department of Transportation’s project to widen the highway. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

The project to move an approximate 2.5 mile stretch of the Shoshone Municipal Pipeline parallel to the U.S. 14-A right-of-way will be completed this spring.

The 12,500 feet of pipe is being relocated to allow room for the Wyoming Department of Transportation to widen the highway.

“It’s out in the fields 20 or 30 feet,” said Shoshone Municipal Pipeline Manager Craig Barsness.

Garney Wyoming, based in Chugwater, was awarded the $4.6 million bid last summer.

The job runs east from the Beacon Hill Road in Cody to about one mile west of Corbett Bridge, Barsness said.

The contractor began laying pipe Jan. 16. Three bores of 130, 400 and 650 feet were completed, Barsness said.

A bore runs below a row of tall and stately pine trees just east of East Cooper Lane.

“It’s this lady’s wind break,” Barsness said.

Essential elements of the project are two tie-ins connecting the new pipe to the existing pipeline on the east and west ends of the line, Barsness said.

“The tie-ins are really the most critical of the project,” Barsness said.

The contractor had 32 hours to complete the tie-ins before users down the line were impacted by loss of water. Those downstream represent 50 percent of Shoshone Municipal Pipeline’s users. That time frame included draining the line and refilling it. “And they completed it on time,” Barsness said.

On the job site a stone’s throw from the highway, a trackhoe swivels with buckets of fill to cushion the pipe. Mounds of soil align the ditch like a miniature mountain chain. It’s the top soil.

Prior to digging the ditch, the top soil was stripped. That dirt will be placed back on top, Barsness said.

The top of the 24 inch pipe is six feet below the surface.

The steel pipe is lined with mortar. Electrical charges from anodes will prevent erosion. If the anode batteries are replaced regularly, the pipe will last 100 years or more, Barsness said.

Fencing running alongside the easement will come down once construction is completed. The old pipe will be removed, Barsness said.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation will reimburse 50 percent of the cost of the project. Wyoming Water Development Commission is providing a grant for 33 percent, and Shoshone Municipal Pipeline will pay 17 percent.

There will be no additional charges to users to cover the 17 percent.

“We have the money in reserves,” Barsness said.

The project’s original engineering firm was Aspen-Banner of Laramie. However Aspen-Banner has merged with DOWL HKM, which moved into Aspen-Banner’s Laramie office.

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