Summit Natural Gas has made final connection for the 68-mile steel backbone transmission pipeline from Pittston to Madison that will eventually distribute natural gas to 17 central Maine communities.

The completed transmission pipeline is part of Summit Natural Gas’ natural gas infrastructure being built in the Kennebec Valley while the steel pipeline provides the backbone for the planned build out of a distribution pipeline system which is being installed.

With phase 1 complete, the Summit pipeline is conned to residential customers in Augusta, Fairfield, Gardiner, Hallowell, Randolph and Waterville and are using natural gas.

The company is planning to install 85 miles of additional distribution pipeline in the Kennebec Valley region as well as 66 miles in the towns of Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth in 2014.

Scheduled to begin this month, phase 2 of the Kennebec Valley project will focus on installing distribution lines throughout several communities and the service lines that will connect homes and businesses with natural gas.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine president Mike Minkos said, "As we begin our 2014 construction program, we are committed to expanding natural gas service to the residential and commercial sectors."