AmerenUE has begun replacing three substandard gas mains in Cape Girardeau in a larger project to be completed by the end of 2006.
The first job in this plan along Spanish and Good Hope streets could be finished today, with the concrete to be filled in next week.
The Missouri Public Service Commission asked AmerenUE to devise a plan to replace all city mains, some of which are close to 50 years old, with plastic pipes.
Work on pipes along Perryville Road from Cape Rock Drive to Lexington Avenue may begin this week and last for six weeks. No start date has been set to replace the main at Sprigg Street and Normal Avenue, though once started the job should take two to three weeks to complete.
AmerenUE district manager Jean Mason said that traffic should not be blocked during these jobs.
Customers on those mains only will be affected during a short, scheduled gas outage when transferred over to the new main, according to Mason. AmerenUE will let the affected customers know by telephone when they can expect to be without gas and will re-light customers' pilot lights after the outage.
The galvanized and bare steel pipes will be replaced by the end of 2006.
"There is quite a bit to do," Wetherell said. "Most of this pipe was put in, in the fifties and sixties, and there is about 8,000 feet of steel to be replaced."