NiSource to upgrade roads around Springfield plant

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Construction of a $300 million natural gas processing plant on Stateline Road in Springfield Township is about 25 percent complete, and company officials were in town Monday night to announce another major investment.

NiSource Midstream Services continues to work on the Hickory Bend Gathering System, processing plant and eventual pipeline.  And now company leaders said they also plan to upgrade infrastructure around the new plant.

NiSource said it will spend $1.5 million to upgrade, resurface and pave several roads in Springfield Township and Poland Township in Mahoning County.  Company officials said eight to 12 trucks a day will transport liquid gas from the plant until June of next year, when the pipeline gets up and running.

“We’re excited about that, we want to be part of the community, contribute to the community. We’re here to stay. This is part of our commitment to the community, to show you that what we say we’re going to do, we’re going to do,” said Jim Privett, director of operations and engineering for  NiSource Midstream Services.

Privett said some of the roads being paved will be Stateline Road, New Middletown Road, Rapp Road, Columbiana Road, Felger Road, South Range Road, Miller Road and Metz Road in Springfield Township, as well as Cowden Road, Moore Road, Arrel Road and Kansas Road in Poland Township.

“What I see from that is they want to be a community partner, they want to be a good neighbor, and that tells me that they’re here to stay for the long term,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti.

Traficanti said state and federal dollars are drying up to make necessary road improvements around the county.

“A lot of our roads do need to be repaved, a lot of the trucks will be using those roads, and a lot of them are county roads, so it’s great news. $1.5 million is a big chunk of money,” Traficanti said.

Still, some neighbors of the new plant aren’t quite sold on what’s taking place across the street, even if that street is freshly paved.

“It looks great. They’re going to pave my road, I guess. Why? I don’t know, but I mean that’s fine, I”ll get a paved road. Is that going to make up for if I hear noise, I got light pollution, I have everything. I live in the country. I don’t want to live in the city where I got light shining. I like to walk out and see the stars,” said Springfield Township resident Bob Hetrick.

Work on the road upgrades and resurfacing will begin Aug. 12 and is scheduled to be done by Aug. 31. The plant is scheduled to come online in December of this year.

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