LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Crews with Louisville Gas and Electric are entering the final stretch of a project 20 years in the making.

Workers began installing the last portion of a long-term gas main replacement project downtown between Third and Fourth Streets Tuesday.

Crews first began the project in 1996, replacing old pipeline with more durable, plastic pipeline that’s expected to last for decades.

In the last 21 years, they’ve replaced about 540 miles of natural gas mains through the LG&E service territory.

Gas team leader Tom Murphy has been with the project from the beginning.

"It means a whole lot to me because my vision years ago, I never thought we'd get this far and get it done. But the light's at the end of the tunnel now and I'll be here until it ends and that's soon," he said.

After installing the last part of the line, crews will go back and reconnect services and remove the old pipeline.

Work is expected to be fully complete toward the end of this year.