Last fall I noticed some unusual behavior just before harvest time. The first field to be harvested in our area had a portion, but not all, of the corn removed. Since farmers will sometimes harvest a few rows to check the moisture content before they harvest the entire field, I didn't suspect anything unusual until I noticed that the swath of corn removed cut diagonally across the field. I'd never seen a farmer harvest that way before. A few days later, a bulldozer arrived and pushed the topsoil into a giant berm on one side of the swath. Clearly something other than farming was planned for that property. It wasn't long after the topsoil was moved that other equipment appeared, and ultimately, large sections of pipe were delivered. A little research identified the project as the Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline that will traverse almost six hundred miles between Pontiac, Illinois and Cushing, Oklahoma.
Although Illinois is relatively flat, the elevation changes along this pipeline route are significant enough to require special strategies. In the image above a small creek is temporarily bridged and silt fences protect it from excessive soil runoff. A long section of pipe welded and bent to follow the terrain was not welded in place like the others you see in this image, but was resting next to me on the flat ground on top of this small rise. It appears that steeper slopes like that in the foreground require the pipe to be welded remotely to its resting place. I don't know if they used pipelayers to move that section into place or if some other equipment was used.