Numerous recent gas leaks occurring along and off Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody are annoying many city motorists forced to sit in traffic and find alternate routes to get to where they want.

City officials say the main problems appears to be Atlanta Gas Light failing to mark their gas lines properly resulting in Dunwoody filing a complaint with the Public Service Commission.

Google Fiber workers are digging along one of Dunwoody’s  major thoroughfares to Roberts Drive where it is locating a Google Fiber hut to serve Sandy Springs. Construction crews are also in the midst of a water main replacement on Chamblee Dunwoody Road. Both projects together means a lot of digging, sometimes blindly.

“Unfortunately gas leaks have occurred along Chamblee Dunwoody Road when construction crews have hit unmarked and/or poorly marked gas lines,” said Bob Mullen, city spokesman.

“When construction crews conduct utility placements and installations, as is the case with Google Fiber and the construction crews handling the water main replacement, they reference maps and utility line markings provided by utility location crews,” he explained.

“Sometimes the existing utilities are incorrectly marked or were not properly capped back at the primary utility source and the crews inadvertently hit a pipe, thinking that there’s nothing there.”

The city recently filed a complaint with the Georgia Public Service Commission because of the poorly marked gas lines.

“As you are all probably aware the contractor replacing the water main on Chamblee Dunwoody Road continues to encounter gas lines that have not been properly marked by the utility locating service,” Public Works Director Michael Smith wrote in a March 17 email to the city council.

“The lines have been old service lines that were abandoned by capping the far end but they are still connected to the main. Apparently these lines are not reflected on the maps provided by the gas company to the utility locate service,” Smith stated in the email.

“After the first one was hit we were assured by the gas company that there shouldn’t be any issues going forward. After yesterday’s incident I filed a complaint with the Public Service Commission and contacted the president of the gas company. I spoke with him this morning and he assured me that the issue now has their full attention,” Smith added.

City staff spoke also spoke with representatives of Google Fiber March 11 to address the many gas line breaks and share their concerns over disruptions over the past several weeks, according to an email.

Due to safety risks of the gas pipe break, the road must be closed down until the pipe is repaired, Mullen explained.

“Safety is paramount in these situations,” Mullen said. “When a utility pipe is hit, the city/contractor immediately notifies fire and police and then the utility service provider. Repair crews then arrive on scene to repair the pipes and work with public safety to make the area safe.”

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.