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Bad maps have led to a rise in gas leaks around Alexandria

Calvert Avenue closed as Washington Gas investigates leak, staff photo by Jay Westcott

Alexandria is seeing an uptick in contractors striking gas lines, partly thanks to outdated utility maps.

At a meeting of the Alexandria Local Emergency Planning Committee (full disclosure, this reporter served on the committee) last week, Fire Marshal Russell Furr said there is a “higher than normal number of gas lines being struck.”

Furr said part of that is due to all the digging with the new broadband network project.

“Over the past month, there have been 20 or 30 utility tickets issued for contractors digging, and it’s only going to continue because that project is just now getting underway,” Furr said.

Furr noted that some of the maps do not line up with where the lines actually are, and some of them show incorrect depths on the gas lines.

“[Washington Gas] has even hit their own lines in the past,” Furr said.

Furr also noted that, as Ting Internet digs around Del Ray area, they’ve accidentally knocked out Verizon lines a few times.

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