MidAmerican Energy planning gas line replacements in Iowa City, first changes coming in July-August

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Mid-American Energy is starting a new five-year plan to replace gas lines across eastern Iowa, and some of those lines will include areas of Iowa City.

Poles like these will soon appear across Iowa City, as MidAmerican Energy prepares for a five-year gas line replacement project. (COURTESY PHOTO/MidAmerican Energy)

Starting Saturday, May 18, residents could start to see some changes in their neighborhoods.

This weekend, thirteen solar-powered sensors will be installed in a number of locations across the city. MidAmerican says they will track the flow of gas inside the lines underground, and will remain installed until the project is completed. Not all will be installed this weekend- the entire process will take three weeks.

Media Relations Manager for MidAmerican Energy Geoff Greenwood says this is a temporary safety precaution to ensure when the underground work begins, they will be able to closely monitor gas flow and shut it off remotely, if necessary.

"We have safety protocols, and we have extra checks and balances that we have in place during this process," Greenwood said. "That begins with some sensors and control equipment that we're putting in now. It's just temporary equipment, but we plan to have it in place during the changeover process."

Work will begin in Iowa City starting in July near the Ped Mall, while other areas will see replacement projects in the coming years. The poles will remain in place until the specific area's project has been completed by 2023.