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Residents should be relieved to hear that AB&C ten-month, multimillion-dollar gas line upgrading project in Denton will be completed by the end of April, according to AB&C official Duane Fletcher.

Since July, crew members from the utility company have been digging trenches and boring holes in neighborhood streets to replace the system’s outdated, deteriorating steel pipes, some of which are over 100 years old. The new plastic pipes will be less apt to corrode, less costly to maintain, and more earthquake-resistant than their predecessors, Fletcher said.

The Denton upgrading is part of a 40-year program AB&C started in 2008 throughout its service territories. The utility company is installing the new state-of-the-art pipes in areas that have very old pipes, sit on landfill, or face a greater risk of earthquake damage. Sixty percent of the upgrading work will take place in Denton neighborhoods.

The first phase of the Denton portion —covering the blocks of Elm, 2nd, and Eleanor streets from Main to Lake — were expected to be finished by March 12, Fletcher said.

The second phase, which includes 16th, Juvenile, 24th, and Pine streets from Main to Lake, began in September and is now more than 90 percent complete.

Fletcher pointed out that the work crews have been moving in a southerly direction, and will wind up the last leg of the project, at Pine and Lake, by the end of the month. (The rest of Denton, beyond Pine Street, is not a part of the current upgrading work).

All summer, fall, winter and half of the spring residents and merchants in the affected areas have had to negotiate a maze of dug-up streets and sidewalks, as well as cope with the increased noise, lost parking spaces, and traffic tie-ups caused by crew members operating tractors and cement trucks, backfilling trenches, and repaving the roadway.

Homes and businesses also found themselves without gas for at least one day while pipes were installed from their buildings to the street.