A crew from Michels Corporation, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractor, replaced the project’s natural gas mains this month. Another Michels Corporation crew has been connecting the service lines to the new mains. They finished the service line work on Market Street and Willow Street. They are currently working on Meridian Street and will move to Chestnut Street next.


On Wednesday, July 28, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractor, Michels Corporation, will begin replacing the project’s natural gas mains. They will begin on Willow Street, working south from Main Street. Willow Street will remain open to traffic while the crews work on one side of the road. They estimate the main replacement on Willow to last into the rest of the week of July 26 or early into the week of August 2.

What will CenterPoint Energy do?

Beginning in early August and lasting into fall 2021, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractors will work in Belle Plaine along the following streets: the alley between Market, Willow, Prairie and Main Streets; Willow Street S. between Main and Park Streets; Meridian Street S. between Main and Park Streets; Chestnut Street S. between Main and South Streets (Commerce Drive); Cedar Street S. between Church and Raven Streets; Walnut Street S. between Main and Raven Streets; Prairie Street between Willow and Walnut Streets S.; Park Street between Market and Meridian Streets S.; Raven Street between Meridian and Walnut Streets; Walnut Street between Main and Raven Streets; and Elm, Linden and Ash Streets S. between Prairie Street and Commerce Drive.

This project is a continuation of last year’s natural gas line replacement project, which happened north of Main Street and west of Walnut Street. While Michels Corporation will replace the natural gas mains, connect the natural gas service lines to the new mains, and move any inside residential meters outside, Q3 Contracting will restore the areas affected by Michels Corporation’s work. For most of the project’s duration, lane, parking and sidewalk closures will occur. The crews will close the alleys one at a time when the crews put the existing natural gas mains out of service.

What is CenterPoint Energy’s COVID-19 protocol?

The construction crews and personnel will continue to use the Covid-19 Customer Permission Flyer, which requests customer permission prior to entering homes. Personnel, contractors and CenterPoint Energy employees will continue to practice CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, sanitary practices and wearing face masks when entering customer homes.

What if I have an inside gas meter?

The customer will receive a CenterPoint Energy postcard in the mail typically within one or two weeks prior to the day when the Michels Corporation crews will perform the work. The crews will have CenterPoint Energy-authorized photo IDs stating that they are employees of Michels Corporation.

After the customer receives the postcard, the foreman will arrive at the customer’s house to schedule an appointment that typically meets with the customer’s schedule. If the customer isn’t home when they arrives, he will leave a door tag with his contact information to schedule an appointment with him.

Customers are advised to set aside a two- to four-hour time frame for the inside-to-outside gas meter move. They are also advised to mark their privately-installed utilities such as dog fences or sprinklers. Marking can be accomplished with tools such as spray paint or utility flags. The foreman will access the natural gas meter inside the house, move the meter outside, and relight the natural gas appliance pilot lights after the new meter has been relocated.

Customers with outside meters will be notified prior to the replacement or connection of the service lines to the new mains. Areas affected by our work will be restored to their original condition.

What should I expect during restoration?

Crews from Q3 Contracting, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractor, will follow to restore the areas affected by Michels Corporation’s work, including hard and soft surfaces. On the soft surfaces such as boulevards and lawns, various erosion control measures keep the restored area moist, hold seed in the soil, and enhance seed germination. If an erosion blanket is needed it is secured in place with staples. The mesh is a wood fiber that will completely degrade. Prior to mowing the restored area, remove any loose staples that secured the blanket.