The Athens Review
Across valleys and hills the ONEOK Sterling III Pipeline construction is progressing on its path through Henderson County.
The 16-inch natural gas liquids pipeline is cutting a 25-mile swath through the eastern portion of the county. Sterling III, which will end at the Gulf of Mexico, is being constructed at a cost of $610 million to $810 million. ONEOK announced the construction project in 2011 and began securing right-of-way from landowners.
Henderson County Commissioners cleared the final permitting approval for construction of the pipeline at its June 4 meeting.
Since then, the construction crews have wasted no time in preparing the way for the line. According to ONEOK, Sterling III will be buried at an average depth of four feet and will run roughly parallel to two previous ONEOK lines.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said the pipeline project crosses 10 Precinct 4 roads and two roads in Precinct 2. Clearing of the right-of-way has begun between the Anderson County line and a spot north of U.S. Highway 175. Along that stretch, the pipeline will cross County Road 4400, the southernmost roadway in that portion of the county.
Geeslin said the pipeline transport trucks have started to deliver the pipe between CR 4400, and US 175, west of Poynor. Most of the preparation is complete and welding and installation operations should begin soon.
Additional clearing is anticipated to begin this week involving several additional county roads. The clearing begins at CR 4343 and heads northward. This week, the clearing is expected to cross the following Precinct 4 roads: CR 4357; CR 4336; CR 4334; CR 4325; CR 4332; CR 4831; and CR 4828.
Motorists can expect some delays in areas where the construction is underway near the roadways and are urged to watch the signs designating the work areas. Geeslin said the pipeline company was required to put up a $250,000 bond against any damages that its equipment might cause on the Henderson County roadways. Citizens who see any damage to the roads caused by the construction vehicles are encouraged to contact Precinct 4 at 903-676-4054.