WORCESTER - Important utility relocation prep work is underway in the Canal District so when the groundbreaking for a minor league ballpark happens this summer those golden shovels won't puncture a natural gas line.

Before the new home of the Boston Red Sox' top minor league baseball team can be constructed in the Canal District, utility companies will relocate underground lines and install new underground infrastructure to provide service to the ballpark and hotels, office and retail establishments that are part of the project.

Thursday night, the city hosted a public information session in the White Room at Crompton Collective on Green Street so residents and business owners in the Canal District could get a closer look at work being done.

Polar Park is expected to be completed for the start of the 2021 International League season, when the Pawtucket Red Sox start playing in Worcester. It's part of a $240 million redevelopment project that includes construction of a 10,000-seat ballpark on the north side of Madison Street, and the planned $90 million private development on the south side of Madison Street that is expected to include hotel, retail, office and residential uses.

Also, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is planning a redesign of Kelley Square to accommodate additional traffic expected to be generated by the development.

Representatives from National Grid, MassDOT, Eversource, Charter Spectrum, Verizon and the city Department of Public Works and Parks manned tables at Thursday's session, outlining where various high-voltage electrical lines, fiber-optic cable, and gas lines will be relocated, along with water and sewer infrastructure work the city will undertake in that area.

For example, a National Grid display laid out a timeline for enlarging manholes, installing new ones, and installing new lines. Once the project starts on Green Street, it will gradually move down Green to Madison Street and then to Gold Street through the end of April.

Jacob Sanders, who handles intergovernmental and municipal initiatives for the city, said communication with the neighborhood is critical at every step of a project with "lots of moving pieces."

Kevin Shaughnessy, community and customer manager for National Grid, said each utility involved in the relocation effort is at various stages of design and planning for the project. He said because of a tight summer 2019 deadline, work will begin immediately.

Eugene Zabinski, president of the Canal District Alliance, said so far, communication with the neighborhood on the ballpark project has been very good. He said the alliance has been invited to several early meetings dealing with various aspects of the project; and he said the key is to avoid surprises. Many of the businesses in the Canal District are "small mom-and-pop" operations that will need to stay informed about how each phase of the project could impact their business. Parking and road closures are also a concern, he said.

He said the project's tight deadlines provide a degree of comfort for those business owners; it's not an open-ended project akin to Boston's "Big Dig." Still, he said, it will be critical not to have the work be so obtrusive that it no longer makes a trip to the Canal District worth it for someone looking to go out for coffee or get a pizza.

Mr. Zabinski said interest in the neighborhood remains high for the arrival of the minor league franchise. He said the alliance has been meeting with the team to come up with ideas for events to keep the fan base engaged.