Stopping Gas Main Breaks

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

In a matter of nine days there have been three separate gas line breaks - all located in downtown Lansing.
Now Mayor Virg Bernero, Public Works, and Consumers Energy plan to meet.

"Damage prevention is a shared responsibility."

Terry DeDoes is a spokesman for Consumers Energy -- the utility in charge of the mains.

"We're the ones that install the gas mains, supply the gas, and respond when there's a dig in damage. So there's a lot of factors there to discuss, as well as what we do to follow up on our investigations, to make sure all the proper steps were followed."

The first gas line was hit April 26th on Michigan Avenue, the second May 1st on West Allegan Street, and the third on Friday, once again on Michigan Ave.

"To have a gas leak you have gas escaping into the atmosphere when there's damage to that gas main or service. So the first thing we want to do is make sure that area's safe. We have crews going into the building to make sure there's not gas accumulating inside."

The accidents happened during construction on the combined sewer overflow project and the rain gardens beautification. Each of the contractors was provided with maps.

"These maps are supplied as a courtesy. They're all preconstruction maps just to give an idea of where the mains are. Anytime you have maps of an underground facility of any kind, there's going to be discrepancies between the as build and what you have on the maps."

Both Mayor Bernero and Public Works were unavailable for comment. The meeting is scheduled for Monday morning.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rich Location: Lansing on May 10, 2007 at 09:45 AM
    Well sometimes the crews are at fault, sometimes its the MISS-DIG locators, and sometimes it is the utility themselves. Uusually it's a mix of all three to a varying degree. But things like this happen all the time, and Virg is blowing it out of proportion.
  • by Kevin Location: St. Johns on May 6, 2007 at 09:30 PM
    Maybe the persons who drew the map marking the gas lines should have been a bit more accurate. Also MISS-DIG should mark the utilities better. Have experienced MISS-DIG's mismarkings myself. I have a hard time believing the construction crews are totally at fault. But the media surely wants to report the most DRAMATIZED STORY they can.
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