March 19, 2007

Pipeline construction to begin

Underground pipeline to be phased over eight months

By Chelsey Rosetter
Staff Intern

Construction of the MinnCan Project’s controversial pipeline, planned to run through Meeker, Wright, McLeod, and Carver counties, is moving forward.

Plans for the 305-mile crude oil pipeline have been finalized, construction schedules have been sent out, and the Minnesota Pipeline Company representatives have completed landowner notifications, according to MinnCan.

Beginning in June, the $300 million construction project will last for approximately eight months. The time spent on each property will vary, however, a six-week period has been estimated, including preperation and cleanup.

Each construction crew will continue at an average rate of one mile per day, clearing, constructing, and restorting the areas as they progress.

Depending on the number of miles of pipeline installed in each county, after construction is completed, the county will recieve $120,000 to $1.8 million in property taxes annually, paid by the Minnesota Pipe Line Company. In addition, once operational, the pipeline will generate approximately $9 million in annual local property tax revenues.

Expected to be completed in 2008, the pipeline will consist of 24-inch carbon steel and will rest 3 feet undeground in non-agricultural areas, 4.5 feet underground in agricultural areas, and 1 foot below previously-installed drain tiles.

A pump station will also be located near the midpoint of the pipeline route, covering approximately two acres of land.

Over the next few months, MinnCan representatives will distribute the final easement payments, and complete various environmental projects. In some areas, initial construction preparation and activity could begin.

MinnCan communication will continue as well, keeping landowners and government officials and agencies up-to-date on construction progress.

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