Mountain Valley Pipeline proves costlier than expected

Company bumps up expected cost to $4.6 billion

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is much more expensive than the company originally thought it would be.

The company announced this week that it’s increased the expected cost of the project to $4.6 billion.

That’s nearly a billion dollars more than the original estimate of $3.7 billion, and an increase of about 25 percent.

An MVP spokeswoman said about half the cost increase is due to a work stoppage period last month. Heavy rain has also been a factor.

The company plans to finish half the pipeline by the end of the year and complete the project by late next year.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is projected to run from West Virginia into North Carolina, crossing through Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia. The natural gas pipeline would travel 303 miles and is estimated to cost $4.6 billion. The company expects to complete the project by late next year.

The project has been met with opposition from the planning stage. Opponents have voiced concerns in local meetings and federal court proceedings, and staged sit-in style protests that have ranged from so-called tree-sits -- where some protesters have positioned themselves in the path of construction workers for more than a month at a time -- to protests where opponents have chained themselves to construction equipment in order to delay work.