Sleightsburgh Spit Park in Esopus will close for week of Sept. 14 for gas line replacement

Daily Freeman-4 months before

The project is expected to start on the Monday and be complete in time to reopen the site by the weekend.

“The line itself goes under the (Rondout Creek) to a regulator station located on the north side,” spokesman John Maserjian said. “It’s a transmission line that carries a larger volume of gas at a higher pressure, so it does take some due diligence to replace the valve.

"It may not take us the entire week," he added, "but we’re giving ourselves that time in order to do the job properly.”

Maserjian said the current valve was installed in the 1960s and ...ill be replaced with one large enough to use for inserting remote equipment into the lines.

“We’re upgrading the line so that it has the capability to accept an inspection robot,” he said. "Robots are sometimes inserted into a gas line to do inspections from the inside using senors and cameras."

Officials said Central Hudson will begin excavating the site on Monday, Sept. 7, but the park will not be closed. The schedule also calls for the utility to be on site for site restoration and fencing installing the week of Sept. 21.

Sleightsburgh Spit Park, which has a boat launch, is popular with fishing enthusiasts and hunters. Over the past two years, however, it has become the source of controversy as those groups, nearby residents, and people who use the site for casual recreation have been at odds over the hours of park use and requests for police monitoring.

A gas line explosion on March 5, 2006, leveled an apartment house at 150 W. Main St. and damaged nearby homes. A state Public Service Commission investigation put the blame on problems with a faulty valve box cover that was reported nearly eight months earlier.

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