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Frequently Asked Construction Questions

Choose from the any of the topics below to find quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the NEXUS project.


What does construction of a gas transmission pipeline entail?

Whether your property already has a pipeline where maintenance work is necessary or we are building a pipeline across your property, you can count on NEXUS to always respect your property and minimize disruption to the degree possible.

We are exercising care and diligence throughout the construction process. And we are communicating openly and regularly so that you and other landowners know what to expect and fully understand the construction process and related safeguards we employ.

NEXUS representatives are notifying affected landowners well before construction begins, and our inspection team is closely monitoring all activities to ensure that the terms of our easement (see Right-of-Way Easement Notification, Negotiations and Acquisition document) and agreed upon restrictions are adhered to.

A NEXUS Right-of-Way Agent is readily available on short notice to address any construction questions or concerns landowners may have. The Right-of-Way Agent is responsible for following up on these questions and concerns and responds to inquiries within 48 hours.

Landowners may call our toll-free, 24-hour information hot line to advise us of any construction or environmental related issues – and we will make every effort to resolve any issues as soon as practicable.

Generally, a width of 100 feet of work area is required for construction of the pipeline. This includes both the permanent right-of-way and temporary workspace. Additional workspace may also be necessary. In certain circumstances, the workspace is narrowed or expanded for short distances.

Some disruption to property is unavoidable during construction, and certain damages may result. In all such cases, each landowner will be fairly compensated for any damages.

What are the construction procedures to be followed?

Below, please find the construction procedures that are followed:


Once the individual pipe joints are bent to fit the trench, they are welded together. The welding is highly controlled and performed by qualified welders using approved welding procedures. Each weld made on the pipeline is visually inspected and radiographs or ultrasonic images by way of x-ray are processed on-site to ensure the integrity of every weld. COATING Specialized epoxy coating is applied to each of the weld joint areas after the radiographic inspection is complete and the weld has been approved. The coating on the entire pipe section is electronically checked to ensure satisfaction. HYDROSTATIC TESTING As various long sections are completed and backfilled, they are filled with water and pressurized to a point one and a half times higher than the maximum pressure at which the pipe will be allowed to operate. This test pressure is held for a minimum of eight continuous hours. CLEANUP & RESTORATION Restoration begins as soon as the pipe is backfilled and continues until the construction work area is fully restored as close as possible to its original state. Temporary workspaces will be allowed to return to their previous state.

How long does construction take?

A project of this scope typically takes 7-10 months to complete. The construction of each segment of the pipeline varies, but typically the majority of the work is conducted in discrete areas over a period of 4 to 8 weeks. This duration varies based upon features that are being crossed at each location. There are some areas where construction is taking longer based upon construction techniques and existing conditions, such as in areas where the HDD method (defined below) is utilized. NEXUS is working with each specific landowner along the route to help define the extent of construction on the landowner’s property.

What methods is Nexus employing to cross rivers and streams during construction?

There are four basic methods for crossing bodies of water. The techniques for each are site-specific:


The open-cut wet-ditch method consists of digging an open trench in the stream bottom, laying the prefabricated length of pipe necessary to reach bank to bank and then backfilling.


The open-cut dry-ditch method uses flume pipe(s) to direct the stream through the disturbed area, which allows trenching to be done in drier conditions. Small sandbag dams are constructed both upstream and downstream around the work area across the stream channel. Stream flow is then diverted through the flume pipe, allowing the excavation to occur in the dry, under the flume pipe.


The pump-around method can act as a substitute to the open-cut dry-ditch method of construction. It may be employed on small, low-flow streams where the dry-ditch method cannot be employed because of site-specific conditions. In application, small sandbag dams are constructed both upstream and downstream around the work area across the stream channel. Stream flow is then diverted around the work area using pumps and hoses.


Installation of a pipeline by HDD is generally accomplished in three stages:

The first stage consists of directionally drilling a small diameter pilot hole along a designed directional path. The path of the drilling string is tracked and directed using surface monitoring systems. The surface monitoring system determines the location of the drill bit in the hole by taking measurements from a grid or point on the surface. This allows the operator to follow the designed directional path. The second stage involves enlarging the pilot hole to a diameter that will accommodate the pipeline. The enlargement process involves the use of hydraulic cutting with drill bits and jet nozzles and hydraulic motors (also called “mud motors”) used to cut harder soils. It can take several passes to enlarge the hole to the required diameter, which is typically 12 inches larger than the pipeline being installed. The third stage begins once the pilot hole is enlarged to the correct size. The section of pipe, prepared in advance, is pulled back through the hole using the horizontal-directional drilling unit.

What methods is Nexus using to construct the pipeline in agricultural areas?

We recognize the value of agricultural areas, and NEXUS is working diligently with each landowner/tenant farmer to determine any construction requirements specific to each tract of land.

NEXUS is installing its pipeline with at least 3 feet of cover over the pipeline in accordance with their specifications. In agricultural areas, NEXUS is installing the pipeline at greater depths to allow the continued use of the field consistent with the needs of the landowner.

Our common practices for pipeline construction in agricultural areas include:

Working closely with farmers, Natural Resources Conservation Service and local agricultural extension organizations

Consideration of the types of tilling practices currently utilized

Performing top soil segregation during construction which includes restoration and decompaction in order to return the area to pre-construction conditions

Location and avoidance of irrigation pipes, water, drain tiles, and electrical

Assisting landowners/tenant farmers with livestock management during construction

Performing typical pest and noxious weed control to insure that the area disturbed by construction is the same as the surrounding area

If my property is ultimately affected by the pipeline, what kind of activity should I expect in preparation for construction?

NEXUS representatives are notifying affected landowners well before construction begins, and the inspection team is closely monitoring all activities to ensure that the terms of the easement and agreed upon restrictions are adhered to.

What kind of workspace does Nexus require?

Generally, a width of 100 feet of work area is required for construction of the pipeline. This includes both the permanent right-of-way and temporary workspace. Additional workspace may also be necessary. In certain circumstances, the workspace is narrowed or expanded for short distances.

What is a temporary workspace in the context of this project?

When the pipeline is constructed or expanded, temporary workspace is needed adjacent to and along the permanent right-of-way. The width of the temporary workspace varies depending upon the local topography and/or sensitive resource areas in the vicinity of the construction. In certain areas, additional temporary workspace is required to create safe working environments or to accommodate special crossing techniques required by permit conditions.

These areas may include rocky or sloping terrain, as well as street, road, stream, railroad or wetland crossings. NEXUS has worked with landowners directly affected by construction to negotiate fair compensation for the permanent right-of-way and temporary workspace.

Is there a possibility of damages to my property during construction and how are these damages addressed?

Some disruption to property is unavoidable during construction and certain damages may result. In all such cases, each landowner is fairly compensated for any damages.

How does Nexus work to identify structures and minimize any impact on these?

Early on, it is very important to identify to NEXUS any structures to ensure they are not impacted by construction. In certain areas, blasting is necessary to create the trench. All blasting is performed by registered licensed blasters, in accordance with all appropriate state and local approvals, and monitored by blasting inspectors.

In the unlikely event that NEXUS construction directly causes any damage to a structure, NEXUS will either repair the damage or fairly compensate the owner for the damages.

How will NEXUS work to restore the land they impacted during construction once the project is done?

Following pipeline installation, all disturbed areas will be returned as close as possible to the original contours.

Temporary workspace will be allowed to return to its original state. The entire work area will be restored in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local permits.

All temporary fencing and gates required during construction will be removed. All fences will be restored as near as practicable to pre-construction condition.

NEXUS right-of-way agents will be available throughout restoration to respond to landowner questions and concerns. After the landowner and right-of-way agent have reviewed the restoration, NEXUS will return to review and evaluate any follow-up issues or concerns.

While NEXUS will maintain the permanent right-of-way per the Grant of Easement, temporary work areas will revert to the property owner following construction and restoration.

Are there barriers to absorb bright lights of the construction site?

Any local lighting for nighttime activities is pointed down toward the work area and not up in the air.

What kind of welding techniques are utilized during the construction of the pipeline?

NEXUS is using a combination of mechanized and manual welding for the field welding on the pipeline. Each field is ultrasonically or x-ray inspected to ensure each weld meets or exceeds all federal safety requirements and regulations.

Who oversees those contracted to build on this site?

It has been our experience that the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) and FERC representatives perform inspections and audits of significant pipeline construction projects, such as this project. When USDOT’s representatives inspect and/or perform audits on projects, they examine criteria, such as the design of the pipeline, the selection of pipe and its material characteristics, welding, hydrostatic testing just to name a few. USDOT’s representatives want to verify that all the aspects mentioned above are in full compliance with the regulations. FERC’s representatives typically make frequent visits to the work site to ensure that the project team is fully adhering to all the conditions and requirements mandated by FERC for the project. NEXUS is also implementing a comprehensive quality assurance program, including multiple on-site inspectors, to assure the work performed by the contractor is conducted in accordance with the project plans, specifications, regulations and permit conditions.

How does the project affect and manage traffic?

For the most part, public roads are not directly affected by construction activities as they are bored under using either HDD or conventional jack and bore methods. However, equipment, materials and workforce utilizes public roads to go to and from the job site. This typically does not have a dramatic effect on the everyday traffic flow. In heavily traffic-congested areas, there may be requirements by local authorities that some sections of the pipeline are constructed at night to minimize interruptions to the traffic flow or in order to complete construction faster. Where the flow of traffic is affected by construction activities, a traffic control plan is provided to the local authorities for approval and implementation.

Traffic engineers with experience in the local area design site-specific traffic control plans that are coordinated with local authorities. The traffic control plans are designed to minimize the disruption of local traffic patterns and ensure maintenance of the traffic flow with safe driving conditions along the pipeline route during construction. Pipeline construction within roadways is typically accomplished in a manner that avoids road closures. Traffic is directed by police or flaggers past the work area, which is typically in one lane of the roadway. Emergency access for fire and police is a priority of the traffic control plan as is ensuring any residents of the area are able to access their homes.

Is the pipeline at least 200 feet away from residences?

While there is no code mandating minimum distances a pipeline can be constructed from structures, in the context of pipeline routing and construction, residential areas are generally defined as areas where residential structures are located within 50 feet of the construction work areas, as well as land classified as residential yard, subdivision and approved planned residential development.

Construction through or near residential areas is undertaken to minimize adverse impacts on residents by ensuring that construction and restoration proceeds quickly and thoroughly. Additionally, landowners are notified prior to the commencement of construction, and work hours may be arranged to take landowners’ needs into consideration. Site-specific construction plans typically are prepared to depict the temporary and permanent right-of-way, as well as any special construction techniques proposed for residences located within 25 feet of proposed construction work areas.

The FERC Guidance Manual For Environmental Report Preparation titled “Residential Areas” in Resource Report 8 states that FERC will allow residences to be within 25 feet of the construction work area – or actually within the construction work area itself, as long as a site specific plan is included in the FERC application. In these instances, special construction techniques would be necessary.

Given NEXUS’s early surveys and route analysis, structures are being identified and avoided as much as possible.

The distance of the project from houses and structures varies along the pipeline route. The pipeline is designed with consideration to the proximity of dwellings; however, there are locations where the pipeline is closer than 200 feet to a house. USDOT mandates the design of any pipeline based on Class Locations (i.e. Class 1, 2, 3 and 4) depending on the types of structures and human occupancy close to the pipeline.

Can other pipelines and utilities located near the pipeline be damaged?

NEXUS does not anticipate any impacts to the existing utilities or other pipelines during construction or maintenance of the project facilities. NEXUS has obtained maps of the existing utilities and has met with appropriate municipal engineers and planners along the route to gather information and minimize impacts to these utilities.

NEXUS will continue to meet with engineers and planners as necessary to ensure it has accurate information of utility location. Prior to excavating (during construction and maintenance), each utility is located to determine its horizontal and vertical location so the pipeline can be installed without impacts to the existing infrastructure. Should any damage occur, such as utilities that were not identified, they will be immediately repaired to the satisfaction of the municipality or company that owns the utility.

Once the pipeline is in-service, NEXUS will continue to work with municipality to identify any modifications to existing utilities which could affect pipeline maintenance activities.

NEXUS’s parent company Spectra Energy Partners has co-existed with utilities for more than 60 years and maintenance of the pipeline in both urban and rural areas has not had an adverse impact on utilities or surrounding businesses.

How will the public know when construction will take place?

NEXUS representatives are notifying affected landowners and/or tenants of the actual timing of construction as far in advance as possible, and the inspection team is closely monitoring all activities to ensure that they adhere to the terms of the easement and agreed-upon restrictions. The early notification includes a general timeline and description of construction activities in order to allow the landowner to schedule activities with construction in mind and detailed information on how to contact NEXUS with any construction related concerns.

A NEXUS right-of-way agent is readily available on short notice to address any construction questions or concerns landowners may have. The right-of-way agent is also responsible for following up on these questions and concerns and responds to inquiries within 48 hours.

NEXUS has set-up a toll-free 24-hour hotline to address construction- or environmentally-related issues.

What kind of noise can the public expect during construction activities?

Construction activities are performed with standard (normal) construction-type equipment, such as track-excavators, backhoes, side-boom tractors, dump truck(s), etc. Much of the construction machines operate intermittently, and the types of machines in use change with each construction phase. The noise that can be expected is no different than the daily construction activities that occur in the project area on a daily basis. Noise buffering measures include ensuring that sound muffling devices that are provided as standard equipment by the construction equipment manufacturer are kept in good working order.

Are residents required to pay for construction and maintenance through their tax dollars?

No, residents’ tax dollars are not used to pay for construction and maintenance of the project, which is one of the benefits of an interstate natural gas pipeline. NEXUS is paying for the cost of constructing and maintaining the pipeline and facilities. Once the project facilities are in place, NEXUS will be assessed appropriate annual property taxes on their respective project facilities and will not draw on the municipalities’ services (i.e. schools, water, etc.). NEXUS will pay ongoing, annual property tax dollars that will support the communities.

Does the project require 24-hour or nighttime construction?

Nighttime or 24-hour construction is not expected to be necessary (i.e., site construction to occur primarily during daylight hours). If it is determined that night construction is required, notice would be provided to the general public concerning these locations in advance of any work taking place.

Has construction begun anywhere along the NEXUS pipeline project at this point?

In August 25, 2017, the FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate the NEXUS interstate natural gas pipeline project. Following the Certificate Order, the FERC also issued a Notice to Proceed with construction activities on October 11, 2017. Construction is now underway in Ohio and Michigan, and the project is targeting an in-service date in the third quarter of 2018.

Will the construction or operation of the pipeline result in more tax dollars going to support increased police and other protective services?

No, the project will not require any additional municipal facilities to operate and maintain the pipeline. However, the pipeline could generate property tax relief that can be allocated to these and other municipal services.

How does NEXUS protect topsoil during construction?

Up to 1 foot (12 inches) of top soil for the entire width of the construction right-of-way is removed and stock piled along the edge of the right-of-way. The top soil is returned and graded over the right-of-way as the final step in restoration.

In agricultural and residential areas, topsoil is stripped and stockpiled separately from the subsoil during grading. There may be some areas where the construction right-of-way is limited and topsoil needs to be stockpiled offsite. Topsoil is replaced with appropriate imported material as required. The mixing of topsoil with subsoil is minimized by using topsoil segregation construction methods in wetlands (except when standing water or saturated soils are present). Rock is removed from all actively cultivated or rotated agricultural land. The size, density and distribution of rock left in construction work areas should be similar to adjacent areas not disturbed by construction, unless otherwise approved in writing by the landowner.

To reach emergency personnel for NEXUS 24/7, call toll-free

(855) 329-1781

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