St. James Parish completes Paulina gas infrastructure improvement project

Published 4:13 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

Convent, LA – St. James Parish Government recently completed a years-long gas infrastructure improvement project on the parish’s east bank, resulting in an increase in natural gas pressure to customers in the area.

For nearly three decades, the Bourbon Country Subdivision area of Paulina was known to have substandard natural gas service lines. The original gas lines, manufactured with Polyvinyl-chloride (PVC), which can become brittle and fail under high pressure, had long been outdated by new industry standards. The outdated and poor infrastructure in this area resulted in a reduction in gas pressure to the entire east bank in order to prevent a line failure. This reduction in pressure left residents with low pressure during winter storms, or tropical weather generator usage.

President Pete Dufresne marked this project as a top priority, with engineering and evaluations beginning in the Spring of 2020. By the fall, phase one of the project began with the replacement of the main natural gas trunk line from the Grand Point natural gas pay point, south along HWY 642 and east towards Matherne’s Supermarket. A second phase contract was enacted to additionally replace the service lines in the Bourbon Country Subdivision.

 Contractors utilized directional boring techniques to replace the outdated infrastructure with industry standard polyethylene tubing.   Upon the completion of this project, gas pressure for customers on the east bank of the Parish was increased from 35 PSI to 55 PSI which successfully alleviated the gas supply shortage to this area.

President Dufresne noted, “This long overdue project’s completion has significantly improved the quality of service we provide to our residents on the east bank. I am confident the improved pressure will allow for adequate usage during weather related events.”

Parish Utilities crews completed the project on time and under the original 1.2 million-dollar budget.