This week, the crews are preparing for the project by getting their equipment ready and spotting utilities. On Monday, July 19, crews from Michels Corporation, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractor, will begin replacing the project’s natural gas mains. They will start on Upton Avenue S. at Red Cedar Lane, working north under the east sidewalk. They will also replace the main on Forest Dale as they work north. Parking will be restricted on both sides of Upton Avenue S. They anticipate that replacing the project’s mains will take approximately 1.5 weeks.


On Thursday, July 15, crews from Michels Corporation, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractor, will begin replacing the project’s natural gas mains. They will start on Upton Avenue S., working north from Red Cedar Lane under the east sidewalk. Replacing the plastic main portion of this project will take approximately two weeks. After that, the crews will connect the natural gas service lines to the new plastic main.

What will CenterPoint Energy do?

From early July to late summer or early fall 2021, CenterPoint Energy’s authorized contractors will work in Minneapolis along the following streets: Upton Avenue S. between 50th Street W. and Red Cedar Lane, 52nd Street W. at Upton Avenue S., and Forest Dale east of Upton Avenue S. While Michels Corporation will replace two natural gas mains, connect the natural gas service lines to the first of the new mains, and move any inside residential meters outside, Q3 Contracting will restore the areas affected by Michels Corporation’s work.

While the first natural gas main will be small-diameter plastic, typically bored underground, the second main will be large-diameter steel. Since the crews weld the pieces of the pipe together, the steel main replacement requires open excavation and takes longer to install than the small-diameter plastic main. Time spent on each block will vary due to the size of the block, the steel offsets, the restoration preparation, and the weather. Toward the end of the project, the crews will return to some intersections to connect the new main to the existing intersecting mains.

Upton Avenue S. will be closed for a block at a time from 50th to 53rd Streets W. During the closure, it will be open to local traffic only. Detour signs will direct non-local traffic to the next block. One sidewalk will be open at a time. On 50th and 52nd Streets W., there will be a lane shift, along with one sidewalk closed on Upton Avenue S. at the intersection. These closures may reopen after the first main is replaced and before the second main is replaced. Our website will be updated during the project.

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 he 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 for restoration?

Q3 Contracting will restore the areas affected by Michels Corporation’s work. The crews typically work on one side of the road at a time. When they restore the lawns and boulevards, they will use various erosion control measures to 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.