PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — National Grid says durable plastic pipes that are replacing aging cast-iron and unprotected steel pipes have reduced gas leaks in Rhode Island by about one-third.

The Providence Journal reports that in the project's first year, the company replaced 30 miles of lines, growing to 50 miles last year.

Next year, it will increase to 56 miles and will eventually rise to 65 miles. The work is being done in 33 of the state's 39 cities and towns.

The goal is to replace 1,400 miles of the state's 3,100 miles of gas lines over 19 years.

National Grid plans to spend $38 million to replace gas mains and 500 connections as part of a $71.7-million gas infrastructure improvement plan.

Much of the money is included in annual rates approved by state regulators.


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