Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Signs of MVP

The Mountain Valley Pipeline folks aren't supposed to be doing any actual pipeline work until some things are settled, but they're using their time and equipment to put up signs in the area. I guess they want to be ready.

Here's the sign that we had a kerfuffle about earlier today. It will say "road work" when it is opened.

 The picture below is the corner of my property, which ends past the bushes on the right. In the distance you can see the next signs in the series (there are four total) that warn of "one lane," "flagman," etc.

My husband drove me "around the block" this evening to see what they'd done beyond our property. Just down from us is what used to be a dairy farm. The pipeline will cut through this property. The signs are on the other side of the road to warn the few folks who live down that way of "road work," etc. as if they couldn't already see it.

Because the pipeline will cross Bar Ridge Road (the next road over from us and where our Polecat Creek is located, we drove us to see what the pipeline folks had been doing. They put up the series of foldable signs before the crossing.

Here's where the pipeline will cross Bar Ridge Road and head toward us. Way in the distance, you can see a blue porta-pottie near one of the big power lines. That's beside the former dairy farm on our road. What you can't see from either road is where the pipeline will cross Dinner Creek, but the creek is at the lowest part of this picture.

They want everyone to know that what they're doing is fine with VDOT.

Here's some of the equipment and the portable signs that they'd previously used. The flags to the left mark power lines to the house. . . 

. . . which is within spitting distance of the powerline route. The woman who lives there is elderly and had a stroke a few years ago.

The pipeline will be close to the big power lines. If there's ever an explosion, it will be truly spectacular. You can see some kind of equipment to the left.

A closer shot of Jack's Mountain. The quarry there has provided a lot of gravel for the pipeline project. Again, you can see the pottie on my road.

They didn't finish adding the signs on the north end of Bar Ridge. I guess the hard rain and much thunder that we had this afternoon might have discouraged them. 

In upcoming blog-posts, I'll try to document other things I see.

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Signs of Destruction

The Mountain Valley Pipeline—which will provide natural gas for overseas, the hell with folks around here—is coming through our area, leaving much destruction in its path. Supposedly the work is temporarily stopped, but workers were out in force today. A whole gang of them wanted to put up signs along the edge of my lawn—the place where I drive my golf-cart every morning as I go from feeding barn-cats to collecting the newspaper. When I saw a man poking into the grass that grows over our underground drainage system, I golf-carted out and stopped him.

In the picture below, there's a white stake where the sign-post will go—right over our drain that CenturyLink messed up a few years ago and spent over six months repairing.

When I told the guy about the drain, he had no idea it was there. I showed him the open part of it and pointed out where the buried part ran along the edge of our property and then crossed under the road.

A little farther down, just behind the "Be Prepared to Stop" sign, is another white stake on our property—for an identical warning sign. I convinced them to wait until my husband got home before proceeding with their work. They said they'd start at the other end first.

When my husband came home, he convinced them not to mess with the drain, which starts in the shrubbery behind the "Loose Gravel" sign, so they moved the stake up a bit.

Apparently putting in a sign no longer requires just a guy and a post hole digger. It requires a half dozen guys and a machine that makes a hole.

And several other trucks.

Apparently, the machine pushes water down into the ground and then lifts up the mud.

My house is in the background in the picture below. The pipeline doesn't come through my property, but my house is in the thousand foot blast zone.*

A lot of the road had to be blocked off to set the post.

Finally the post was in the hole, but several guys had to straighten it.

Then they poured little bags of gravel around the post.

Finally, the convoy was ready to move out.

Next came a VDOT crew spreading tar and gravel on the road which is in pretty bad shape. Apparently not bad enough shape to actually repave, though.

A lot of that gravel is going to get slung around by cars as they go past, but luckily we don't have much traffic—unless you count all the pipeline and VDOT guys driving up and down the road.

*Although we'd heard for over a year that the blast zone extends to a thousand feet beyond the actual pipeline, one of the pipeline guys said it was more like a mile. So that means not only is our house in the blast zone, but so is our Polecat Creek Farm down the road.

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