Pipeline update: no work through New Year's

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No work is happening this week on the months-long project to reroute a natural gas pipeline in the Río Grande Gorge. The project was approved by the Bureau of Land Management in April and work began on the six-mile, $14 million project in August. Road barriers were moved and traffic restrictions were lifted through the Christmas and New Year's holidays. 

Concrete barriers, which will reduce the highway to one lane, will be reinstalled Jan. 2 with work fully resuming Jan. 3, according to Tim Korte, the spokesperson for New Mexico Gas Company, the utility behind the pipeline renovation.

Even while excavation and pipeline installation continue along the east side of State Road 68, crew have also made progress at the southern end of the project located between the County Line boat launch and the community of Rinconada.

Plans for continuing work on the pipeline in January have been finalized with the state but are flexible and dependent on the weather.

"Several options will be under consideration, including continuing construction in light snowfall with [New Mexico Department of Transportation crews] salting and plowing [State Road] 68 as warranted. It's also possible that a major winter storm could mean suspending construction for several days, a determination that will be made in consultation with [the department] and other stakeholders," he said.

Representatives with the gas company are available to attend public meetings or visit with civic organizations to discuss the Taos Mainline project and answer questions, according to Korte.

Find updates from the gas company on Twitter @nmgasco, nmgco.com or Facebook at "New Mexico Gas Co." If you're driving through the Río Grande Gorge and have concerns about something you see, alert The Taos News by emailing chooks@taosnews.com or calling (575)-758-2241.

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