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UGI Utilities will spend $4.4 million this year strengthening and extending its gas-line network in Lancaster County, the firm said Thursday.

That sum consists of $1.3 million to replace old gas mains, generally at least 50 years old, and $3.1 million to lengthen lines to serve new customers.

UGI spokesman Joe Swope said spending in the two categories varies year to year, depending on the scope of the year’s projects.

But the total, he said, has been “relatively consistent” for the past three years, since UGI began “significantly accelerating” its replacement initiative.

The local replacement-line spending is part of $85 million UGI will spend system-wide on the initiative this year.

Here, UGI will replace 9,300 feet of cast iron and bare steel pipe on North Plum, South Lime, East Liberty and North Duke streets in Lancaster city, Blue Ridge Drive in Millersville and Poplar Street in Mount Joy

The new mains are made of contemporary materials such as high-density plastic or cathodically protected, coated steel.

UGI is in the midst of a 30-year, $1.2 billion program to replace all of its mains made of old materials.

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Tim Mekeel is the Lancaster Newspapers business editor. He can be reached at tmekeel@lnpnews.com or (717) 481-6030. You can also follow @tmekeel_lnpnews on Twitter.

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