Utility markings

Dear Editor:This is in response to the Letter to the Editor published in The Downey Patriot on Sept. 7 from Mr. Al Rangel. Mr. Rangel brings up a very good point about the unsightly nature of colored utility markings. These markings are a necessary "evil" (and required by state law) to protecting the City's, as well as other governmental and private utility agencies' pipelines/conduits. These agencies include oil and gas companies (BP, Exxon-Mobile and The Gas Company), electrical/telephone (So Cal Edison, Verizon, AT&T) and water agencies (Metropolitan Water District and Central Basin Water District). Per California State law (CALIFORNIA CODES, GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 4216-4216.9), colored utility markings (paint or a similar coating) are required to indicate the locations and route of buried pipelines and electrical conduits in areas where subsurface excavation will occur. All markings are highly visible and indicate the name, initials or logo of the company that owns or operates the line. These markings assist the contractor that is doing work in the area to be aware of where he/she can cut the pavement and excavate in a safe manner. Without these markings, pipelines could be compromised, thereby jeopardizing the health and welfare of the public. On Imperial Highway, specifically, there are several construction projects that are either ongoing or will begin construction shortly. These projects include: the Imperial Highway/Bellflower Boulevard Intersection Project, Kaiser Hospital Improvements, BP Oil Pipeline Integrity Inspection and the Columbia Way Waterline Project. The City also requires, in its permit process, that all utility markings associated with the permitted project be removed prior to final inspection or project closeout. Numerous locations of graffiti "tagging" along the sidewalk and pavement on Imperial Highway were also present; City maintenance crews have since removed those markings. Residents concerned with graffiti markings (on walls, sidewalks and pavement) are encouraged to contact the City of Downey "Graffiti Hotline" at (562) 923-4484 or on the City of Downey home web page, www.downeyca.org Homepage>City Services > Online Services > Report Graffiti or downeyca.org/services/online/graffiti.asp Louis A. Atwell, P.E. Deputy Director of Public Works City of Downey

********** Published: September 13, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 22