Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pipe is all finally in the ground!

Finally got my first day off in over a month of 14 hour days. All the hard work has paid off because as of yesterday, all of the pipe is in the ground. I started working on this project in January 2008 trying to figure out how we were going to route it the 675 miles from Wyoming to California. Several accidental deaths, Four billion dollars,  and Three and a half years later, the pipe is in the ground. There is still a lot of testing and clean up work to do before it is operational, but that is coming along quickly. I honestly never thought I would see this day.

Now apparently I am pushed along to another much smaller project in North Dakota. I'm not sure when I will be going, whenever I leave Oregon sometime in the next few weeks is the best guess. The worst part about that is that the only town in the area is Minot, which if you have seen the news would know that it is currently under water. We are trying to figure out how we are going to live there and right now the discussion seems to be leaning towards building a camp because the already limited housing is obviously even more scarce now. It's only supposed to last 3 months, so I guess I can handle that. I'm kind of looking forward to being in the wide open prairie lands for awhile. As long as I'm outta there before the winter hits than everything is good. I'm possibly going to be going to another large multi-year project in Texas and other parts of the South later this fall, but I'm not really sure if I have Texas in me. A few other possibles are Southern Indiana/Ohio or Pennsylvania/New York.(Mountains!) As always with my job though, I won't know for sure until it happens..

Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.

Here is the last convoy of pipe being delivered on a nice rainy foggy typical Oregon morning.

One thing that I'm not gonna miss is hauling my awkward equipment up mountains to set it up.

This is one of the last stretches of pipe, strung out waiting to get welded together.

After the pipe is buried, one of the last things we do is place pipeline markers over it. This is one of the final stretches just as it turns South to California.  Thats Shasta in the background. After we set the markers, the ground gets seeded with native plants, so in a year or two it will look a lot nicer hopefully.

And this of course is the California/Oregon state line. The end of the line for now. There is a big receiver station that has been built that other pipelines are going to tap in to.