As construction business rises again on the High Desert, the city of Bend is concerned about the number of construction mishaps also on the rise, in the form of underground lines being hit or cut..
Over the last six months, three sewer lines were cut by contractors and 14 natural gas lines.
"We've had these over the years every once in a while," said Public Works Director Paul Reheault said Thursday. "But to have three in the last six months concerns me. These are very expensive fixes."
The most recent incident was on Archie Briggs Road, where a contractor hit both a gas and a sewer line just a few minutes apart last Friday.
Cascades Natural Gas reports 14 gas lines hit over the past four months.
According to the utility, only one of those was the fault of a wrong map
"It's required for anyone who is going to do any digging to locate all underground utilities," said CNG spokesman Mark Hanson.
Locating the general area of a line is not enough. The contractor is required to also investigate how deep the line is buried.
"That's their (the contractors') responsibility," said Shawn Rushin, president of Advanced Utility Locating in Bend. "Otherwise they're just shooting in the blind. They do not get depth on a locate through utility companies. They will not give you the depth, because it varies considerably between two spots."
Utility companies and the city of Bend want to stress the importance of following all the guidelines.
And it so happens that April is national "Call Before You Dig Month."
Before you start digging, always call 811. For more information you can visit their website: http://www.call811.com/