Construction on Sabal Pipeline continues in East AL

Lee County, AL (WTVM) - Construction workers have moved down East Alabama from Chambers County into Lee County, where they continue laying components for the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office shut down traffic on a couple roads in Salem, making room for construction crews as they drove on-and-off site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

Sabal Trail Transmission LLC stated the pipeline should start production around June.

Christine McCuin, who once owned property in Lee County, said after first talking to company representatives in 2014, she felt forced to sell her land to Sabal Trail Transmission for less than $2,000.

"I'm not making anything on this, okay?" McCuin said. "But, you've got corporations and businesses going to make millions off this, you know? They stepped on me in order to get what they want."

A trio of energy companies - Spectra Energy Corp., NextEra Energy Inc., and Duke Energy - jointly own Sabal Trail Transmission LLC.

Sabal Trail's route follows an existing corridor of pipes already owned by Alabama Power and Southern Natural Gas

McCuin said having both these pipelines in the area pose a potential hazard to all community members, citing the recent Colonial Pipeline explosions in Shelby County, AL.

"If you are in the Lee County area, there's already a pipeline going out that way," McCuin said. "And from where I can see you right now, we have pipelines going all over the United States of America. At some point, this is getting to be too much."

The pipeline has drawn protests from environmental activists in Florida, where the pipeline will end its course.

As it stands, the projected final cost for this pipeline is $3.2 billion. Lee County Commissioner Robert Ham said he hopes this becomes an economic benefit for the community.

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