Granite Pipeline Project
Baltimore Gas and Electric approached Baltimore City on a need to replace portions of the 13.5 mile underground Granite Gas Pipeline. The 2018 reconstruction phase will extend through 2.2 miles of the 1200 acre Gwynns Falls Leakin Park. The original gas pipeline, installed in 1948, was patched and repaired in the past, but needs to be moved north in the park because of environmental hazards associated with its original location in the Dead Run floodplain.
The City and BGE negotiated a contractual agreement that permits BGE to proceed with the new pipeline, adhering to conditions mandated by state law and City policy. The Department of Recreation and Parks and its Forestry division will be receiving partial restitution of approximately $2.6 million. Additional requirements charged to BGE from the city include:
- post construction tree planting on-site
- five (5) years of invasive vegetation management along the pipeline route
- fee-in-lieu to the City for the tree canopy loss
- repairs to infrastructure and recreational facilities.
February 2018: Pipeline construction is slated to begin February 8, 2018
March 2018: This first phase must be no later than the fifteenth of March as directed by City officials, to reduce impact on spring nesting birds.
October 2018: Targeted completion of project construction
The second phase project will be begin with the removal of all vegetation across a 2.2 mile long, seventy-five foot wide stretch. Portions of the line will be tunneled underground by horizontal direct drilling, thus minimizing some surface soil disturbance. Nevertheless approximately 700 trees will be removed having a trunk diameter of eight inches or greater (this is the minimum diameter we require mitigation on our Parkland). A conservative estimate of the total number of trees that will be lost is four times that number..The project will include the planting of approximately 870 small trees along the perimeter of the new line and to infill existing cleared areas from the old pipeline that is to be abandoned. Reimbursement funds will be applied to planting new trees in nearby neighborhoods and areas of the park. Recreational and infrastructure repairs include repaving tennis courts in Leakin Park, reconstruction of the Stokes Drive baseball field, and improvements to parts of the Gwynns Falls Trail and the roadway to the Carrie Murray Nature Center.
Eagle Drive- the Leakin Park Playground will be closed; area will be noisy, open trench, temporary plates will be installed for drives to cross trench
Stokes Drive - entire baseball field will be shut down
Gwynnbrook Apartments will have temporary construction access
I-70 Park & Ride - noisy during drilling; horizontal direct drilling
Outward Bound - partial trench area will be closed, could potentially affect the Herb Fest
Carrie Murray Nature Center - Hutton Ave will close for two-day construction period
Wetheredsville Road - noisy, partial trail closing
Cooks Lane - gas will be released