Vermont Gas Systems says its 41-mile pipeline has stayed within its budget this past quarter, and is on track to be completed this spring. The news comes after costs have ballooned nearly 50 percent in the last three years.
The budget update released Friday shows that more than $650,000 was moved from the project's contingency fund; most of that is going to cover increases in construction cost.
Beth Parent of Vermont Gas says the project is on track to complete the remaining 2,200 feet of pipeline, which involves drilling horizontally underneath a public park in Hinesburg.
"Right now, folks, our contractors are out there, they are working stringing the pipe and getting ready to drill underneath the park, and so that way we can bring service to folks in Addison County," says Parent.
Last year the Supreme Court lifted a stay, allowing Vermont Gas to move forward with construction, even while litigation is pending.
In the event that the Supreme Court rules against Vermont Gas, the company has posted a $1 million bond with the court to cover the costs of removing the pipeline and restoring the land.
An appeal filed by attorney Jim Dumont on behalf of multiple residents of Hinesburg is pending.
The pipeline extension project stretching from Colchester to Middlebury was originally budgeted at $86.6 million in December of 2013. But multiple cost increases brought it to the current budget of about $166 million.
Parent says that once the remaining 2,200 feet beneath Geprags Park in Hinesburg are completed and connect the existing sections of pipeline, the extension will serve about 4,000 Vermont families and businesses.