Driving the Bayou Bridge Pipeline route in Calcasieu Parish

Driving the Bayou Bridge Pipeline route in Calcasieu Parish
Pipeline work off Gauthier Road

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If there's something you want to know about pipelines, chances are Sonny Mason can tell you

"I retired with a little over fifty years of pipeline service behind me. Worked on everything from pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico to up close to Canada to South America to Trinidad," said Mason.

Along Gauthier Road, miles of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline will run through as it traverses Calcasieu Parish.

"You see all these stakes right here where they're crossed? That's the center of the ditch to put a pipeline right there."

Between the Gulf Highway (Common Street) and Graywood, pipeline stakes are sometimes north of Gauthier and sometimes south.

"It's going to cross over and head south for a ways now.  You can't run it in just a straight line,  It would be perfect if you could, but you can't.  The reason they changed sides right here are for environmental reasons and to cut down on any damage to people's houses or property," said Mason.

In some places, he explains, they will use directional drilling to avoid damage to other structures, roads or waterways. He says in a few weeks people will likely begin to see sections of pipeline that will be strung together and then then welded.

"After it's all welded the next thing is the x ray.  They'll come by and they'll x ray every weld. Every welder that welds on this pipe will have to be tested to start with," he said.

But for now: extensive planning and preparation. Some areas are marked red or blue signs limiting or prohibiting access.

"That's a wet area or a sensitive area so they're protecting it with that silt fence to keep the mud from running out of it," said Mason, about the blue signs.
Whereas, red signs say "no project access."  Mason explains, "That means they're not supposed to take any trucks or anything in there.  They don't want that property disturbed for some reason," he said.

The pipeline already runs from Nederland Texas to Lake Charles and is moving eastward to St. James.

Watch more of our pipeline ride-along: 

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