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Monday, March 12, 2012 - 8:47am

Gaps Cause Gas Line Cuts

Savannah officials want to know how gaps in a state-wide database led to a pair of cut gas lines.

The incidents are sparking safety concerns and could stall work on a long-awaited highway project.

Construction crews working on the last leg of Savannah's Truman Parkway cut into gas lines after calling 811.

The service's Megan Chestnut says, the database relies on information from utilities.

"We are the people that you call and then we notify everyone else, we are not a utility company," Chestnut says. "If you get on site and you see obvious signs of underground utilities and you don't see marks, you need to call us back, we need to renotify some folks."

The state-wide reporting service contractors are required to call before digging to locate utility lines.

Chestnut says, the database is only as good as the information the utilities provide.

"All we do is send out the information, we do not mark the lines," Chestnut says. "Our members do that either with in-house folks or they contract with a locating company. So they maintain their records, and I mean it's their facility and their inventory they would certainly be the experts on that."

No one was hurt in the incidents.

But local officials are working to determine if the county highway project -- begun 22 years ago -- should be halted temporarily out of concerns another cut gas line could prove fatal.

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