Ameren Illinois announced today it will begin phase two of a $65 million project to modernize its natural gas energy delivery infrastructure in and around Belleville.
Beginning in early April, approximately 125 Ameren Illinois contractors will upgrade a six-mile stretch of natural gas transmission pipeline from Frank Scott Parkway/Concordia Church Road northwest to Illinois Route 13. Crews will be replacing vintage steel transmission pipeline from the 1950s with new, 16-inch steel pipeline.
Completion of the pipeline, expected by mid-September, will strengthen the integrity and reliability of the company’s natural gas system and support economic development for Belleville, Swansea, Millstadt, Smithton, Hecker, Freeburg, New Athens, Fayetteville, St. Libory, Lenzburg, Marissa, Tilden, Coulterville and Sparta.
“Safe, reliable, and affordable energy are among the factors that drive growth in local communities,” said Mark Kern, Chairman of the St. Clair County Board. “The natural gas upgrades will not only meet the energy needs of local residents and businesses, it will put us in a position to attract new, job-creating investment to the County. We thank Ameren Illinois for their efforts to modernize our local infrastructure.”
In 2019, Crews completed phase one of the project, a six-mile stretch from Green Mount Road to Frank Scott Parkway.
“We have made significant progress in the last seven years strengthening the integrity and reliability of our natural gas infrastructure across our Ameren Illinois service territory,” said Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. “As we look to the future, we are building a robust energy delivery system that meets the needs of our customers in St. Clair County and throughout our service territory.”
In New Athens Ameren will be clearing trees for the new pipeline in late August. Most of the tree clearing will be along the railroad bed, along old route 13 and state-owned property. The pipeline being replaced runs from Freeburg to Tilden.