Beware the Asphalt Graffito!

May 25th, 2007 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

In the quiet and pleasantly dull Woodbourne district of JP, we welcome nearly everyone, all that is except the workers bearing spray paint. When we see a lunk spraying orange or yellow marks, we know the skein of unstoppable distractions, inconveniences, noises and garbage that will follow…and then repeat.

This time, it was Keyspan on the gas, following the last episode with Boston Water & Sewer, plus NSTAR on electricity. In fact, this involved both gas and electricity. It was only a month ago that my bleeding car bought the first fluorescent graffito on our asphalt and the game was afoot.

lime wedgeThis week, after two and one-half days, one well into the night, the gang of utility thugs left. They managed to knock Italian-bread sized chunks from our maple. They threw Dunkin’ cups and lids, sandwich remains, junk food wrappers, pipe straps, work gloves and more on the street and in our recycling bin, including oddly enough, a single lime wedge. We assume that was from some cloying donut shop drink, although it has been gin-and-tonic weather.

We have two teens at home and resolve to stay vigilant to be sure they do not end up acting like that. People can only reflect on their upbringing if they do.

I had lot of opportunity to chat with the jolly gas guys this go-round. They were earnestly mining our street for days and were there when I biked home from work.

One would think that the water guys with the electrical ones double checking them would have done the job. But noooooo.

Ripping up the street for four days, replacing utility pipes and line and finally repaving only catalyzed the next stage. As the pleasant fellow said on Wednesday, “When they repair the water lines, they always disrupt the gas lines and we have to replace them.”

Hmm. Natural gas…explosive…news stories of instant suburban death…years of THAT smell…

We actually had smelled the lines, or rather the mercaptan that natural gas folk add to their product so you will know when it’s leaking, for years. The dog walkers too commented on. The gas lines and the leak were in front of the house near the base of the street light.

Calls brought the inspectors, who agreed that yes, indeedy, there was that smell. They could never locate or fix it though. I’m not aware of houses in JP disappearing in fireballs and am not eager to be a newsbreaker here.

So we watched afternoon and evening as they brought in more trucks and a backhoe. The entire one-block street got cones and we parked elsewhere. The hole grew into a pit and trench. The guys said they still had not gotten to everything.

Finally, yesterday afternoon around 5, I biked in to find them putting gear in the back of a truck. For our various reasons, each of us was as sweaty as the next.

Other guys were putting that loose paving material on the now sealed trench. My same guy was there. He said they were done and he seemed to let slip the nature of it. He didn’t know why the other utilities didn’t coordinate with them so that the hole opened and closed just once, but he said he didn’t mind doing it this way. “It keeps us busy,” he said.

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One Response

  1. They just replaced all the water lines, one street over. Not pleasant.

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