Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Pipeline prep in full swing

Large quantities of materials hauled to site north of Kettle River


Dan Reed

Semi-trucks continuously haul 80-foot sections of the new pipeline to a storage yard located four miles north of Kettle River.

Since Monday, January 5, semi-trucks have been hauling 80-foot sections of new pipeline to a storage yard on Lee Miller's farm east of the Kalevala Suomalainen Kirrko Cultural Center on CSAH 131 four miles north of Kettle River.

Earlier, crushed rock had been hauled in long rows with a plastic fibered fabric installed to cover the materials. This is done to keep the pipe off the ground and clean for installation and welding. The geo-textile fabric also keeps the site soil clean so it can be restored to the condition it was before the storage site was built.

Parallel access roads were installed for truck and loader traffic.

Now, as the pipe is delivered in two to three semi-loads approximately every 15 minutes, a loader with a vacuum clam bucket places the long pipes on the crushed rock ripples. The pipe is piled up like enormous cordwood as high as the loader can safely lift.

Two weeks ago the pipe arrived by rail car to the Carlton Junction. This is the closest large rail yard available to handle this much pipe. The trucks take the route down Highway 210 to Cromwell and then south on Highway 73. Many of the locals have commented about traveling Highway 73 wedged in the midst of a six-truck convoy of pipe. Right angle corners are made with the rear duals of the semi-truck pivoting to follow exactly in the tracks of the truck tractor pulling the four-pipe load. The exterior of the pipe is a green color, which is an epoxy covering to inhibit corrosion and extend the life of the pipeline.

Weather conditions have little affect on the process. The ground crew at the storage site said it will take several weeks to get all the pipe delivered. Other materials will also have to be trucked in at a later date.

The permitting process for State of Minnesota clearance for construction continues with hearings throughout the state. The pipe with its specific needs had been ordered some time ago in anticipation of construction starting this winter and once ordered, the pipe delivery could not be put on hold.

Access to the site is strictly enforced for safety reasons.


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