Middle Village residents irked by gas line repairs
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Oct 24, 2017 | 1266 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents on 69th Avenue near 73rd Place are fed up with work being done on their sidewalks by National Grid.

For weeks, National Grid crews have been replacing gas lines between 73rd Place and 80th Street. Many say they weren’t notified in advance of the construction work, leaving their sidewalks destroyed.

“I didn’t know it was happening, I just happened to come home one day around 4 p.m. and I saw them slicing up the sidewalk with machinery,” said resident Cathy Sumsky.

A National Grid employee surveying the sidewalk explained that crews were replacing gas lines with low pressure to ones with high pressure.

“We’re getting rid of all the cast iron underground,” he said. “While we sent plenty of notice ahead of time, if residents didn’t receive the notices, we’re sorry.”

He added that if there was any issues stemming from work being done on the gas lines, customers should contact the company for a reimbursement.

A spokesperson for National Grid said the company is installing two miles of new gas mains and service lines for about 300 customers in the area. Work began last month and should be complete in December.

The spokesperson added that a letter was sent to all customers along the route notifying them of the work, as well as to the offices of local elected officials. Additionally, notices were posted in the area detailing the scope of the work.

Linda Wigger recently let National Grid employees into her home so they could work on the gas lines. Last Friday, her basement was flooded, and it flooded again on Sunday. She blamed the work being done on the gas lines.

“I’m not upset with the workers, we understand where they’re coming from because we know it’s not their idea,” Wigger said. “But they’re not doing the work properly. My Christmas decorations and clothing are destroyed.”

After crews worked near Sumsky’s home, she and her neighbors started smelling a faint gas smell. When a National Grid employee came back to examine the situation, they determined that workers forgot to place gas caps back on.

“Can you imagine what would’ve happened on this block, there would’ve been an explosion because they were not paying attention,” said Mary Ann Wright, a resident who lives down the block from Sumsky and Wigger.

Wright redid her sidewalk two months prior to the National Grid’s gas line work. She said that had she been notified about the sidewalk being “ripped apart,” she wouldn’t have spent thousands of dollars redoing it.

“We get their bills, why couldn't they notify us by putting it on the bill?” Wright asked. “I contacted National Grid asking if they will reimburse me for my sidewalk, let’s see if they ever get back to me.”

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