Updated: 03/13/2014 10:44 PM
Created: 03/12/2014 4:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
Maybe you've never heard of the Belt Line before, but you probably use it. It's more than 60 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline that runs underneath the Twin Cities metro. Think of it like the arteries of our natural gas distribution system.
CenterPoint Energy is replacing the whole thing, and the multi-million dollar project is expected to run until about 2030. CenterPoint's Roger Brandel says it needs to be replaced for safety reasons and also reliability.
"We take bits and pieces of it at a time each year," he said. This year, starting around April 1, the stretch of 2nd Street North in Minneapolis, from 5th Avenue up to 26th Avenue, will be replaced. That'll likely lead to detours and traffic.
"I would not be very happy about it," said Beth Keethers, out on a jog with her husband, David, and her dog, Roscoe. The Keethers live on Second Street, but keep in mind, the whole Belt Line is getting replaced sometime by 2030, meaning the Keethers' pain could soon be yours.
"Obviously the summers are so short," said David, "you don't want to have anything that negatively impacts them."
One more thing: we need the upgrade, we also need to pay for it. If you're a CenterPoint customer, your bill has already gone up -- and will likely go up a little bit more -- to a total of about an extra $4 per monthly bill.
"This is an opportunity for the rate payers to have an upgraded infrastructure that is safer, more reliable and will stand the test of time," Brandel explained.
If you're wondering when construction is going to start in your neighborhood, you can find out more information and sign up for email alerts here.