UGI braces Lancaster business owners, residents for upcoming construction project

LANCASTER, Pa. --- Old gas lines on Prince Street are due for an upgrade.

Tentatively scheduled to begin on March 11, UGI will replace gas mains in the street, as well as services lines running to homes and businesses.

The purpose of the project is to improve the safety and reliability of the natural gas system around Prince Street.

Joseph Swope, communications manager with UGI, said the project will move block by block instead of the entirety of Prince Street, all at once.

Map detailing full length of gas main and service line project on Prince Street in Lancaster. (Courtesy: UGI)

He said the work is primarily scheduled for the evening hours and they estimate it will take 12 to 15 months to complete.

With construction such as street trenches coming, Swope said "there's no easy way to do this."

“There’s going to be inconvenience, there’s going to be loss of parking, there’s going to be some traffic tie-ups as we do this. We recognized that these are very inconvenient," said Swope.

Christine Harvey, owner of Pour Craft Food and Drinks on the 100 block of North Prince Street, said she is not happy with the timing of the project, starting right before the busy season.

“I wish it would’ve been done in January or December but it’s got to upgrade the city so we need it done so it’s kind of a give and take situation," said Harvey.

Lori Sturgess, owner of a new business 'The Studio' on the first block of Prince Street, said she's concerned the loss of parking will make businesses and home inaccessible.

“Not only do I have a new business there that needs to have foot traffic and drive-by traffic but with no parking...I live a block up the street, I’m going to be affected both at day time and the night," said Sturgess.

Swope said UGI plans to meet with the people in the path of the construction to reach an understanding on what has to happen for the project while trying to find a common ground to remedy headaches.

For example, Swope said they'll work with the Parking Authority to try and find a solution for affected parking locations.

“We will make it as painless as possible. We recognize there’s going to be some impacts. We’ll try and minimize those," said Swope.

Liz Hess, owner of Liz Hess Gallery on the 100 block of North Prince Street, said she appreciates UGI taking time to hear business owners out.

“They’re a huge company, we’re just small mom and pop businesses and they’re being so helpful and wanting to do everything they can to make the impact less and I’m really grateful for that," said Hess.

Residents of Prince Street who have questions and concerns will have an opportunity to meet with UGI officials.

A meeting is scheduled for Thursday night at 6 p.m. at UGI Lancaster Corporate Office at 262 Conestoga Street.

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