Seth Johnson and Steve Olson of NPL Construction Co.

Seth Johnson, left, and Steve Olson of NPL Construction Co. in Lakeville, Minn., work together Wednesday to wrap the joints of a steel pipe that will carry natural gas to Hillsboro and Mayville.

Construction of an $8.5 million natural gas pipeline headed for homes in Hillsboro and Mayville is a month ahead of schedule.

Representatives for Dakota Natural Gas said Monday that crews have finished installing 11 miles of 4-inch steel pipe into North Dakota extending west from the Viking Gas Pipeline in western Minnesota.

The steel pipeline remains a few miles northeast of the American Crystal Sugar plant north of Hillsboro but crews already have started installing 6-inch plastic pipe heading west to Mayville, said Cody Chilson, Dakota Natural Gas vice president.

Brian Olson, John Peterson and Lauren Steinhaus Dakota Natural Gas

Dakota Natural Gas technicians, from left, Brian Olson and John Peterson and senior technician Lauren Steinhaus will be working to bring natural gas to the area from their offices in Hillsboro.

“We originally planned to install about 5 miles of pipe last winter and we average about a mile of steel pipe a week,” Chilson said. “So we are way ahead of schedule because of the mild winter.”

Dakota Natural Gas senior technician Lauren Steinhaus said crews have about 1.5 miles of steel pipe left to bury but the remainder of the piping connecting Hillsboro and Mayville will be plastic.

Property owners in Hillsboro received four-page letters from Dakota Natural Gas the past week encouraging people to consider switching to natural gas prior to next winter.

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