CHICAGO — Peoples Gas construction crews, this week, have begun an infrastructure improvement project at the intersection of Jefferson St. and Canalport Ave. in East Pilsen. A detour route is in effect as the intersection at Jefferson and Canalport will be fully closed 24 hours a day. The closure is scheduled to last until the first week of March.
Eastbound and westbound traffic on Canalport will be redirected to 18th Street. Northbound and southbound traffic will be redirected to Halsted Street. Side streets will remain open to local traffic for residents and businesses.
Ensuring safe, reliable, environmentally sustainable heat
There is an important reason for the construction work. Crews are replacing a very old, rapidly corroding gas main beneath the intersection — a cast iron pipe that was originally installed 113 years ago, in 1909.
The construction is part of the Safety Modernization Program, an ongoing effort to upgrade Chicago’s natural gas delivery system to ensure continued safe and reliable service for heat on Chicago’s coldest days and year-round. An independent engineering study ordered by the State of Illinois found more than 80% of the iron pipes in Chicago have an average remaining life of less than 15 years. Many of the pipes date back as far as the 1800’s.
In addition to safety and reliability, the Safety Modernization Program is helping the environment by preventing pipeline leaks. Since 2016, the improvements have prevented more than 28,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas from leaking into the atmosphere – the equivalent of 71 million miles driven by the average gasoline powered passenger car.
More information about the System Modernization Program is at this link.