Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
July 31, 2012
MONMOUTH -- Work on a replacement NW Natural Gas pipeline as it runs through Monmouth along Highway 99W will not resume until September.
Contractors with the Portland-based utility stopped work on the Monmouth section of the "Mid-Willamette Valley Feeder" project on July 3 to conduct a study for cultural and historical artifacts near the intersection of Highway 99W and Hoffman Road.
Melissa Moore, company spokeswoman, said the preliminary report by archaeological consultants showed nothing significant there.
"This (study) was instigated as part of due diligence and not because something was found," she said.
NW Natural Gas' pipeline replacement effort entails 30 miles of reinforced 12-inch steel pipe being laid down between Bethel Road east of Perrydale and Corvallis.
The highly visible process involves boring into the ground between 20 feet and 50 feet deep and steering a drill head horizontally, then pulling pipe back into the hole and into place.
Moore said there's been no interruption to digging at a site to the south at Stapleton Road and the highway. The entire project is about 15 percent complete and will conclude by next year.
The Monmouth portion will finish up by Oct. 31, Moore said.
State law requires study and permitting for land work on known sites of archaeological significance or if artifacts are inadvertently discovered during construction.
Monmouth and Independence were once occupied by the Luckiamute band of the Kalapuya tribe. Farmers and archaeological enthusiasts continue to find arrowheads and shards along the Ash Creek corridor.
In 2009, Central School District had to halt work on what were to be athletic practice fields on district property off 16th Street in Monmouth because environmental consultants learned that flint shards had been found about a mile to the northwest.
Dennis Eberly, a Monmouth historian, said there was once a large Native American encampment that extended north from Gentle Woods Park all the way to Hoffman Road.