AGL Unveils New Pipeline Repair Technology to City of Atlanta Officials That Will Reduce Metal Road Plates and Potholes; Keyholing Machinery - 'Microsurgery' for Pipeline Repairs
July 19, 2005
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 19, 2005--Atlanta Gas Light (AGL), a subsidiary of Atlanta-based AGL Resources (NYSE:ATG), today demonstrated for city of Atlanta officials an innovative construction technique that can be compared to microsurgery for streets and roads. The "keyholing" technique keeps traffic moving and will ultimately reduce the number of metal road plates and potholes on city streets.
"Mayor Franklin's pothole posse has long had the mission of making streets smoother and more passable," said David Scott, Commissioner of the City's Department of Public Works (DPW). "The DPW receives a lot of calls to the pothole hotline about places people think are potholes but are actually areas where metal plates have slipped causing a gap.
"While we know we can't eliminate all plates, we applaud AGL for its use of this new technology that will help reduce the number of plates and make driving better for the traveling public," added Scott.
With "keyholing," AGL technicians no longer need to remove large sections of pavement to access AGL's underground natural gas pipes. Instead, technicians cut out a small area of pavement, make their repairs and then plug up the hole, eliminating time-consuming and expensive repaving. Within 30-minutes of resealing, the street can be reopened to traffic.
"AGL Resources prides itself on using technology to improve operating practices," said Steve Lindsey, AGL vice president and general manager. "We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers with the least disruption. Keyholing is a perfect way to meet our customers' needs and better serve our communities."
With 'keyholing,' a specialized coring machine makes an 18-inch circular cut in the street. A round piece of asphalt, referred to as the "core," is lifted out and placed to one side. A vacuum excavation unit then sucks the dirt out of the hole. When the pipeline repair is completed, the dirt is repacked around the pipe and the asphalt core is replaced. The core is then sealed in place using a fast-acting grout.
"The precision used in making the cut facilitates the smooth replacement of the removed asphalt," said Lindsey. "Within 30 minutes of resealing, the street can be reopened to traffic."
According to Lindsey, the keyhole process eliminates the need for costly paving repairs, improves the esthetics of the street by providing a uniform surface, and eliminates the need for steel plates to protect street cuts until permanent repairs can be made. Keyholing also extends the life span of asphalt streets because surfaces are not marred by large repaved patches.
"At one time or another, each of us has either been delayed by utility construction or been forced to drive over temporary, uneven patching," said Ralph Cleveland, AGL Resources senior vice president - engineering and operations. "As we roll out this process across Georgia and into our other utility service territories throughout the eastern United States, we want everyone to know that AGL Resources is always looking for ways to improve customer service. With 'keyholing' we're performing routine maintenance rapidly and with minimal inconvenience to day-to-day life."
In 2002, the Atlanta Department of Public Works identified more than 535 potholes and 704 utility cuts in Atlanta. The Road Information Program says consumers are socked with about 400 dollars a year in car repair bills because of potholes and other road problems.
Approximately 8 percent of Georgia's state-maintained roads and highways (the major routes in the state, carrying 54 percent of all travel) are in poor condition and at current funding levels conditions are expected to worsen. More than a quarter of roads in major metropolitan areas, 26 percent are judged to be in poor condition, up from 22 percent in 1998 when the decline began.
"AGL Resources is pleased to be able to help reverse this trend," said Cleveland. "We're doing everything we can to use technology and best practices to improve service as well as the communities in which we operate."
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the demonstration are available upon request. Please contact Nick Gold at email@example.com or 404-584-3457.
About Atlanta Gas Light Atlanta Gas Light, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: ATG), provides delivery service to more than 1.6 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit www.atlantagaslight.com.
About AGL Resources AGL Resources (NYSE: ATG), an Atlanta-based energy services holding company, serves 2.3 million customers in six states through its utility subsidiaries - Atlanta Gas Light, Elizabethtown Gas in New Jersey, Virginia Natural Gas, Florida City Gas, Chattanooga Gas, and Elkton Gas in Maryland. A Fortune 1000 company that ranks number 46 in the Fortune gas and electric utilities sector, AGL Resources reported 2004 revenue of $1.8 billion and net income of $153 million. The company also owns Houston-based Sequent Energy Management, an asset manager serving natural gas wholesale customers throughout the East and Midwest. As a 70 percent owner in the SouthStar partnership, AGL Resources markets natural gas to consumers in Georgia under the Georgia Natural Gas brand. AGL Networks, the company's telecommunications subsidiary, owns and operates fiber optic networks in Atlanta and Phoenix. The company also owns and operates Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, a high-deliverability natural gas storage facility near the Henry Hub in Louisiana. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
CONTACT: AGL Resources, Atlanta Media Relations Nick Gold, 404/584-3457 Cell: 404/275-9501 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: AGL Resources