Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Project

Thanks to the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline project, residents and businesses in Greater Philadelphia now have access to a new source of heat and power – natural gas. Working closely with New Jersey Resources (NJR), owner of the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline, JMT brought together 10 services from four different states to develop, design, and deliver this project on schedule and within budget.

Thanks to the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline project, residents and businesses in Greater Philadelphia now have access to a new source of heat and power – natural gas. Working closely with New Jersey Resources (NJR), owner of the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline, JMT brought together 10 services from 4 different states to develop, design, and deliver this project on schedule and within budget. The result is a repurposed pipeline, capable of bringing clean burning and locally sourced natural gas to over 250,000 homes and businesses. Throughout the project, care was taken to reduce the impact on the environment by repurposing pipelines, limiting work to brownfield locations, and minimizing traffic locations. The economic impact of this pipeline will not only affect those residents and businesses through realized savings in energy but also through the creation of hundreds of jobs because of the work needing to be done.

JMT’s Role
NJR had a goal of providing clean energy in the form of natural gas to a previously underserved area of Pennsylvania using an existing pipeline. Having repurposed a portion of the pipeline in 1996, the remaining 50 miles still needed to be rehabbed. To accomplish this goal, they turned to JMT for assistance. Working with NJR’s team of engineers, JMT was able to fill in the gaps of expertise that were missing.

Obtaining permits for new projects is one of the most important steps. It ensures laws and regulations, both local and federal, are followed. The Adelphia Gateway Pipeline project was no exception. Although permitting for an existing pipeline is easier, preliminary research was still needed. JMT’s Water Resources and Environmental teams led the efforts to perform field infiltration testing and perform the due diligence needed before any designing could be done or permits obtained. This same team came together to develop erosion and sedimentation controls, known as Best Management Practices (BMP). To maintain these standards, JMT also created a post-construction stormwater management system. Once this was completed, JMT went to work filing for the required permits – Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit for Earth Disturbance (ESCGP-3) and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) amongst others.

JMT structural engineers were tasked with designing foundations for both buildings and the necessary compressor stations that would push the natural gas to its destination. Because some of these compressor stations would be located on brownfields, JMT’s geotechnical engineers were consulted. To minimize the disturbance of these areas, an array of techniques from cone penetrometer testing to conventional spoon sampling and rock coring were used to determine the safest designs for foundations. On sites with possible contamination, JMT used a helical pile design to reduce the amount of disturbance and excavation needed.
The JMT Survey and SUE team were called to aid in the development of new and accurate topographical maps. Property deeds were researched throughout the construction corridor to identify property owners. Most importantly, overhead, and underground utilities needed to be found, identified, and marked to avoid disruption to area residents. Using geophysical underground penetrating radar, JMT was able to identify a spiderweb of underground utilities that needed to be maneuvered around during the designing and construction of foundations. JMT teams worked diligently on behalf of the client to ensure minimal disruption to the daily lives of nearby residents.

Challenges
This important project was not without challenges. Although 50 miles of the existing pipeline was repurposed, 5 miles of new pipeline was still needed. This pipeline would travel under busy streets in southwest Philadelphia. NJR wanted as little disruption as possible to those traveling in the area. This meant that JMT’s Traffic Engineering teams would be tasked with providing various traffic control designs to facilitate the movement of traffic through all phases of construction. They worked diligently to obtain Highway Occupancy Permits (HOP) from Penn Dot as well as municipal road agreements as required. Signalized intersections, both temporary and permanent were designed.

Rarely does a project go exactly as planned and the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Project is no exception. During the field investigations, the JMT Geotechnical team came across a sinkhole that had developed around a valve. Calling in geotechnical engineer experts to aid in the resolution of the sinkhole, the project was able to move forward without further issues.

The Result
When all construction of the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline project is completed, residents from Quakertown to Marcus Hook in southeastern Pennsylvania will have a new choice in energy. Businesses and manufacturers like Kimberly-Clark in Philadelphia will be able to operate more efficiently thanks to the availability of locally sourced natural gas. JMT’s role in bringing energy to the region showcases our ability to collaborate across several states and our many services for the successful implementation of clean energy.