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Pacific Gas and Electric works to replace pipeline in Lodi

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Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:35 am, Wed Mar 23, 2011.

Traffic slowed at Church and Lockford streets on Tuesday morning as Pacific Gas and Electric construction crews closed off part of the street to replace a pipeline.

Crews dug small holes between Sacramento Street and Lee Avenue to find the depth of other utilities in the street, foreman Bill Millerick said.

Workers then dug two deeper holes to insert the 6-inch plastic piping. Instead of digging a trench they use a Ditch Witch, or a directional boring machine, which drills a hole about four feet below street level. The person drilling the hole is able to go up or down to avoid any obstacles or utility lines.

Once the hole is dug, they pull the pipeline through it and connect it to the existing lines.

The entire project will continue for another month, and will give PG&E more capacity in the area, Millerick said. The company has also completed similar projects on the Eastside to install larger pipelines.

The construction has caused no service disruptions, he said.

"We have ways to work around it. We try to be as community-friendly as we can," Millerick said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodi news.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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