Cleveland woman's new sidewalk ripped up by gas line project

Residents want more warning on upcoming projects

CLEVELAND - Linda LaGruth of Cleveland paid more than $1,000 for several new sections of sidewalk in front of her home in September 2013.

However, satisfaction turned into frustration after the new concrete was ripped up by contractors installing a new gas line several weeks later.

"I'm very upset about it, I've put a lot of money in to keep my house up," explained LaGruth. "I could have used the money to do the driveway."

The project was part of Dominion East Ohio’s Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement program, launched in mid-2008. The $4 billion, 25-year project will involve the eventual replacement of more than 5,500 miles of the company’s 22,000-mile pipeline system.

LaGruth showed NewsChannel5 the door hanger placed on her front door just days before the project began.

LaGruth said the door hanger wasn't very clear, and provided little advance warning.

"I had no idea they were going to tear up the sidewalk," said LaGruth. "So I called them to find out what they were going to do, and they said they were going to replace it, so no harm. But I said I already put the money up for it, and so pretty much they said too bad."

LaGruth is hoping Dominion and other utilities will warn homeowners and neighborhoods months in advance about upcoming improvement projects.

She believes utilities have an obligation to give homeowners the heads up on projects so they can know if these excavations will interfere with planned home improvement projects.

NewsChannel5 contacted Dominion about this case, and it responded immediately.

Dominion encouraged all consumers to call it's Pipeline Replacement hotline at 1-800-544-5768, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Consumers can call to find out if projects are coming to their neighborhood in the coming months before they book a major home improvement project.

Customer also may send questions by e-mail to Dominion’s Ohio Construction Support Department at OhioConstructionSupport@dom.com .

Dominion assured NewsChannel5 LaGruth's sidewalk will be replaced this coming spring.

Still, LaGruth is hoping utility companies will better communicate with neighborhoods about major projects well in advance.

"I know that this is their right-of-way and they have the right to do it, but what they have the right to do and what's right could be two different things," said LaGruth.

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