About the Colony

Smooth driving ahead in Atascadero as gas pipeline project wraps up

A year ago at this time, many of us were wondering how our community would hold its annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite because there was a major trench dug into a portion of the route.

But we should have taken a hint from the work of Primoris Services Corp., which was putting in a new high-pressure natural gas line for Southern California Gas Co. From the first day, PSC demonstrated that traffic would continue to flow along Atascadero’s main north/south thoroughfare, while the job site would be cleaned up at the end of each workday.

With the connection of the new main line and some testing of valves that ended last Friday, all that’s left is to fill the holes and leave town.

The focus of the project was to get a high-pressure gas line out of a neighborhood street. The previous route had the gas main running along Atascadero Avenue as it makes its way north from the middle of town. The line is part of a large loop that goes from about Camp Roberts over to the San Joaquin Valley and south to near Santa Barbara where it comes back to the North County.

According to Nick Brooks, public relations field coordinator for PSC, the company is beginning to backfill its trenches and prepare the road for a fresh new surface. You can say goodbye to those steel plates that “rumble” as you drive over them.

Actually, I sort of got used to them.

I doubt anyone will be happier to see the end come than the owners of A-Town Diner and El Camino Car Wash on El Camino Real. That area has been congested for some time because of the installation of a series of valves there and at the corner of El Camino Real and Curbaril Avenue. This high-pressure line continues south through Atascadero and goes all the way to just about Garden Farms.

Projects such as this one always make me wonder about all those pipes beneath the street that deliver water, gas and electricity. And how each utility company that digs into the ground misses hitting each other’s pipes.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.