— It's a fact that downtown Honesdale is a busy place.
It is about to get busier — 24 hours a day.
"We are upgrading the gas lines," said Jim Brayer of GEC Services, the general contractor for UGI.
The work began in earnest on Wednesday night and it will continue over the next several months.
A major twist with this work is a lot of it is going to be done at night.
Crews will be working Sundays through Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
However, there will also be daytime work involved, said Brayer, meaning crews are going to have a major presence in the borough.
There are two district upgrades which are taking place with the project.
The first is replacing the main gas line which will go from low pressure to medium pressure.
The second part of the project is replacing the service lines which run from the main into all buildings which are serviced by UGI, meaning of the majority of structures on Main Street.
The project will encompass all of Main Street from 12th to 5th and includes 11th and 8th streets from Main to Church. Those streets also have main lines, said Brayer.
He said because of the poor condition of the old lines, UGI wants the mains from 12th to Chapel installed immediately followed by getting the service lines installed.
After that, Brayer said they will attempt to do one block at a time, first doing the mains and then the hookups to the buildings.
"It's going to be noisy," said Brayer.
Page 2 of 3 - He said "big hammers" will be digging up the pavement "all night" during the construction. There will also be trucks running, lights on and many other things happening during the 12-hour nighttime construction periods.
He said a crew of six people will be working at night and another five will be working the day shift.
One thing Brayer stressed is they will be "working with" local business owners and others to try and accommodate them as best as possible.
When doing installation of the main line on Main Street, Brayer said the concept is to close parking on both sides of the road one block at a time. By doing that, it will allow two lanes of traffic to flow through the borough as normal.
How long each block will take is an open question.
"You can't see underground," said Brayer.
He said there is "no prior" mapping of the gas or water lines, meaning what they might find remains in question.
When they begin tying into existing meters, he said there can be many factors which determine the scope of the work. Workers will be in basements and other places while tying in the new gas lines to downtown buildings.
"With any job, the hardest thing is parking," said Brayer, who added they will work with local residents and businesses and try to make them aware of when streets are going to be closed.
In fact, he had crews going door to door on Tuesday of this week getting contact information and trying to spread the word about the construction.
Another factor about working at night, he said, is knowing who to call should an emergency arise. That was also part of the information which they have been collecting, including emergency contact numbers.
He also said they have been working closely with the Honesdale Borough Police Department in keeping them abreast of what is happening.
Page 3 of 3 - "We just want people to be aware of the situation and we ask for cooperation," said Brayer. "We'll be out of your hair as soon as possible."
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Brayer directly at 570-677-1880.