Lathrop Road work rup­tures nat­u­ral gas line

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - By JA­SON CAMP­BELL

One of the core com­plaints that Adri­ana Lopez had with the pro­posed Lathrop Road ex­pan­sion project was safety.

And af­ter a hand­ful of con­struc­tion snags left her home with­out wa­ter and sev­ered land-line phone com­mu­ni­ca­tions this week, her safety con­cerns be­came real when crews punc­tured a PG&E gas line Tues­day af­ter­noon and es­sen­tially lim­ited ac­cess to

the res­i­dences to pre­vent the leak­ing gas from ig­nit­ing.

PG&E spokesper­son J.D. Guidi said at 5:27 p.m. Tues­day a third party crew struck a 2/3-inch gas line while dig­ging. Re­spond­ing PG&E crews stopped the flow of gas by 6:52 p.m.

Ac­cord­ing to Lopez, as of 7:30 p.m. no one had in­formed res­i­dents if they were al­lowed to go out­side, or start their ve­hi­cles. They were also or­dered to shut all of their doors and win­dows and in­structed not to start their ve­hi­cles, light can­dles, or smoke un­til the is­sue had been re­solved.

“One of the things that we talked about was safety and now we’ve had sev­eral things hap­pen – from a wa­ter line that was hit

that cut off our wa­ter for a while to the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion lines go­ing down and now a gas line that was rup­tured,” Lopez said. “I guess these are just some of the things that weren’t pre­pared for – pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures would have been nice.”

Lopez was an out­spo­ken op­po­nent to the Lathrop Road widen­ing project cit­ing traf­fic con­cerns and the im­pact on home­own­ers as her chief com­plaint to plan­ners and elected of­fi­cials that opted to move for­ward with con­struc­tion any­way. Even though she held out on sell­ing a piece of her prop­erty to the city for the project – the only one of three home­own­ers who didn’t agree to a pur­chase price – the project was re­struc­tured not to im­pact her prop­erty.

Te­ichert Con­struc­tion is in charge of the project,

and Lathrop Road has been closed to through traf­fic for sev­eral weeks and will re­main closed un­til midDe­cem­ber to al­low crews to com­plete the nec­es­sary work.

But ac­cord­ing to Sharon Land, her hus­band – who as a res­i­dent was sup­posed to be able to ac­cess his own home dur­ing con­struc­tion – was forced to park and walk in af­ter get­ting off of work Tues­day evening.

“I’m not even sure if I can make din­ner at this point and we can’t re­ally get in our cars and go any­where,” she said. “Some peo­ple have to leave for work and they’re not sure what they’re go­ing to do. It’s not fair to them.”

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