Pipeline update: March 1-7


State Road 68 through the Rio Grande Gorge was fully reopened to traffic Saturday (Feb. 24) after nearly six months of construction of a new natural gas pipeline.

According to New Mexico Gas Company spokesperson Tim Korte, the inside of the pipeline was cleaned and "now our focus has turned to testing the pipeline to ensure there are no leaks." Hydrostatic testing is being conducted in three stages, he said.

Gas company representatives visited Tuesday (Feb. 27) the Taos Country Club and surrounding area to meet with residents, answer questions and provide information about the last bit of work on County Road 110, he said.

The flow of natural gas flow must be stopped at a point south of Rinconada in order for the new pipeline to be welded to the existing Taos Mainline.

"To ensure no service interruption for customers in Taos, Questa and Red River, trucks carrying liquefied natural gas will be connected to a block valve and the LNG will be gasified and pumped into the Taos Mainline. Customers in Rinconada, Pilar and the Stakeout Heights subdivision will be connected to tanks filled with Compressed Natural Gas during the tie-in," Korte said.

The tie-in will happen the week of March 12.

While the gas company footed the bill for the pipeline construction, it also requested the state approve a 1.4 percent hike in residential customer rates. Visit The Taos News online at goo.gl/JtSnkD for a complete story about the requested rate increase. Find pipeline construction updates from the gas company at nmgco.com, on Twitter @nmgasco or Facebook at "New Mexico Gas Co."