Interior Gas Utility
The Fairbanks/North Pole, Alaska, area has some of the worst air quality and highest utility costs in the United States. In 2012, the Cities of North Pole and Fairbanks, along with the Fairbanks North Star Borough, created Interior Gas Utility (IGU) to facilitate the delivery of natural gas to Interior residents in an effort to alleviate economic constraints and poor air quality. In six phases, IGU plans to build a natural gas distribution system to distribute natural gas to as many as 15,000 residents, which would effectively lower energy costs and address public health concerns related to poor air quality.
Since the formation of IGU, the RESPEC team has provided surveying, engineering, permitting, and forecasting services. Completed work includes the design of the Phase I pipe network, development of all of the permits, cursory analysis of liquefied natural gas storage options, and development of a robust GIS database that can produce accurate design drawings.
RESPEC’s surveyors have met or exceeded the accelerated schedule of this huge, complex, fast-track effort since winning the project in August 2014. The team developed survey procedures for subcontractors; conducted right-of-way (ROW) and easement research on more than 130 subdivisions; and quickly mobilized multiple crews for cadastral, subdivision and ROW ties, topographic surveys, and slough crossings. The property base map covered most of North Pole, from the Chena flood-control project to the intersection of the Old and New Richardson Highways.
Just 15 months after design started, IGU had 73 miles of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), gas-distribution piping in the ground that is ready to connect 2,000 homes and businesses as soon as a source of natural gas is secured.