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Category: Utility

Upcoming Washington Gas Street Repair Works

Resurface Inc., the contractor for Washington Gas, will be working on street repairs throughout the City next week, weather permitting. The contractor has posted parking restrictions.

The following areas will be affected:

  • 5100-Block of Edgewood Road
  • The intersection of Edgewood Road and 51st Avenue
  • 5100-Block of Lackawanna Street
  • 9500-Block of 51st Avenue
  • 9700-Block of 52nd Avenue
  • 9800-Block of 52nd Place
  • 8800-Block of 48th Avenue

Upcoming Washington Gas Street Repair Work

Resurface Inc., a contractor for Washington Gas, will continue work on street repairs in North College Park until next week due to weather-related delays. Parking restrictions have been posted by the contractor.

The following areas will be affected:

  • 9200-Block and 9500-Block of 48th Avenue
  • 4900-Block of Erie Street
  • 4900-Block of Fox Street
  • 4800- and 4900-Blocks of Niagara Road
  • 9900-Block of 51st Avenue
  • 5000-Block of Nantucket Road
  • 4800-Block of Delaware Street
  • 9000 and 9100 blocks of Autoville Drive

Please contact engineering@collegeparkmd.gov with any questions. 

Washington Gas Crew to Visit College Park Today to Investigate Residents’ Complaints about Gas Leaks

[Update: Due to inclement weather the WGL leak crew investigation has been postponed until Monday.]

The Washington Gas representatives came to this week’s meeting to discuss their services in College Park. Several residents have complained about the gas leaks in various neighborhoods of College Park.

Yesterday evening, the City was contacted by Washington Gas. They advised us that a leak detection crew will be in the city today reviewing the locations that we provided them prior to and after this week’s meeting. Our City engineer will be shadowing the crew.

Thank you all for sending the gas leak issues around the neighborhood. I’ve compiled your reported issues into a list and sent that to our City Engineer. The Washington Gas leak detection crew will be looking into these locations during their visit today. If you want to add more locations to this list, please let me know. Thank you!

  1. E.D [ Daniels Park ] – I have resided on Iroquois street for 36 years now. The issue is we were one of the streets that had gas leaks that have recently been corrected after many calls and spot repairs. The issue is now of safety, there were several speed humps that were removed when the street was repaved and one particular one has not been replaced. Frequently vehicles are speeding up and down at speeds that are not safe. Please can you address with the city, before someone or property is damaged? Thanks.
  2. C.R. [Oaks Spring] – I’ve smelled gas for years almost every time I take a walk in College Park. I keep the number for Washington Gas on my cell phone & often call to report gas leaks, but the problem persists. Lately, problem spots have been 49th Ave between Delaware & Eerie, and the intersection of 49th Ave & Indian Lane. Recently there was a leak in front of my house. I reported it, and they sent someone to check it out. A few weeks after that they sent someone to mark the path of the gas line, and the marks came alarmingly close to a tree twice as tall as my house. Digging along that line would have been devastating. The man who painted the marks could not tell me whether digging would happen along those lines, or when any digging might happen. I called Washington Gas & could reach no one who could give me that information. I had to get City Council members and Steve Halpern involved to find out what was going on and whether my tree was in danger. That should not be necessary—I should be able to find out this kind of thing from Washington Gas without involving city officials. That said, when the men came to do the work, they were friendly & tolerant of my curiosity about the process & let me watch & take pictures, which I appreciated.
  3. A.F. [Hollywood] – We’ve had gas leaks and major work here on 51st Terrace. The smell of gas was so potent I asked neighbors here and they said it’s been a years-long issue in our neighborhood. We smell what seems to be a gas leak regularly (probably at least once a week in the last couple of months) when outside of the house in Daniels Park. It was so bad we called it in a couple of weeks ago and they came out and their sensors didn’t pick up anything outside or indoors of our place. I find it interesting to know there’s been a general problem for a while.
  4. K. H. [Oak Springs] We smell gas regularly on fox street. Washington has had fixed two leaks within ten feet of each other in two weeks, but it still smells of gas regularly.
  5. E M [Hollywood] – I smelled it so strong at Fox and the Rhode Island service road a week or so ago while driving through.
  6. E M [Hollywood] – There is a gas smell that comes and goes on Hollywood at 51st Ave. a leak was repaired on the street there a year or more ago.
  7. E M [Hollywood] – I smell gas all over Hollywood/Daniels Park when walking the dog. It is really worrying how widespread the problem is.
  8. T. L. [Oak Springs] – When walking, I often smell gas on the corner of 49th Place and Cherokee-not sure where it is coming from.
  9. A. R. [Hollywood] There was a mercury leak inside the house back in 2020. Washington gas was called and informed and they ended up moving the meter from inside the home to outside. I’m guessing they had to redirect some things because they did some work underground which led to work on Mangum Rd. But ever since then, there’s always been a faint gas smell that comes and goes. It’s at the intersection of Mangum Rd and 52nd Avenue
  10. T. D. [Hollywood] I have had several gas leaks on my street (Niagara pl) in the last few years they even dug up my driveway once
  11. J.B. [Hollywood] In December 2020, I had a serious gas leak resulting in a new gas line being pushed to my house (9205 49th Avenue.) Last week, my neighbor at 9203 49th Avenue, had a gas leak but evidently not as severe. I asked the gas employee if the other homes on my side of the street (9201, 9203) could be checked since our respective houses were built at the same time. The employee understood my question but said that only houses that had a reported concern, can be checked. Perhaps this issue can be raised at the meeting. Thanks for asking.
  12. J.F. [Hollywood] On my walks around the block, I routinely smell a gas leak from the vicinity of Indian Lane and the Rhode Island Ave service roadway on the west side of R.I. Ave. This location is marked with a red ‘X’ on the map below. Recently I reported to Washington Gas, a leak I smelled further west on Indian Lane, close to 4908 Indian Lane. That location is marked with an ‘O’ on the map below. I’m glad to see the City taking steps regarding gas leaks. It is not unusual to notice them when walking the neighborhood.
  13. L.B. [Hollywood] We own a home in 49th place. We’ve moved, but when I was out on my front porch, I could faintly smell gas. Our son is currently staying in our College Park house full time. We are there frequently to visit and see our doctors and check on everything going on. College Park is still our primary residence. The last time I was there, I could still faintly smell the gas. When I questioned my son about it he told me the smell is much stronger as you enter the dead end street. I understand that the gas company is coming to speak to the council about the leaks in College Park. I would like our street to be put on the list of places you can smell gas. Thank you all for all that you do. It’s always been a pleasure talking and working with you for the good of College Park.
  14. S.K. [Oaks Spring] I wanted to let you know that our street (Fox Street) has experienced a lot of gas leaks and our neighbors also noticed it as well. I did call Washington Gas on an emergency basis about 2 weeks ago and they came out to investigate the leak. I know the crew was working on our street for a few days but not sure it’s completely resolved as we still smell some gas outside. It’s been reported and hopefully, they have been able to resolve it. It’s right in front of our house 4900 block of Fox St. I showed Wash Gas where the leak was on the road so their crew was out there for a few days. I can still smell the gas today so maybe they still need to work on it.
  15. M.S. [Hollywood] I have smelled leaking gas on three separate occasions on the 9700 block of Narragansett (west of the ditch, near Lackawanna), and called it into Washington Gas, which didn’t seem to do any good
  16. C.D. [Hollywood] Just wanted to let you know I’ve smelled the natural gas smell you are referring to here on Fox St. Off & on over the years. Just last week I was driving down Fox towards Rhode Island & the smell was very noticeable. I have reported this to Washington Gas at least 2 or 3 times over the years & they have come to check it out but were unable to locate anything. Attributed the odor to sewer gasses.

COVID-19: Utility Shut-offs Extended through November 15

Utility Shut-Off Moratorium: The moratorium on utility shut-offs has been extended through November 15. Beginning October 1, utility providers could begin to issue notices to residents that their utilities may be shut off starting November 15 for those who are behind. However, some companies like WSSC Water have already announced they are not performing shut-offs. Also, if residents get one of those notices but they enroll in some form of assistance program (every company is offering them), the utility company is not allowed (by law) to perform a shut-off even after November 15. More info and a link to a number of resources across the State is available at: www.psc.state.md.us

WSSC Water and Pepco Resources: Our utility companies have messaging about how they are supporting our residents during these very challenging times, including re-payment options, the waiving of certain fees, assistance programs and more. We are providing this information in addition to the information above about the moratorium so residents who may need to enroll in one of these assistance programs will have the opportunity to do so. The links for both companies are below for your convenience:
WSSC Water: http://wsscwater.com/heretohelp
Pepco: https://bit.ly/2EUPzfr

Washington Gas Replacement Work in Sunnyside & St. Andrews Place Starts this Month

The Washington Gas is planning to replace its gas lines in the Sunnyside and St. Andrews Pl neighborhoods of College Park. The project is expected to start this month and end in September. According to the Washington contractor, despite the COVID-19 related situation, they will begin work this month as planned.

After 17 Hours of Outage, Power Comes Back to 220 Hollywood Homes

Yesterday was quite a day for some 20 homes. They lost their power around Saturday midnight, after a huge tree on Edgewood Rd (near 53rd Avenue) knocked down the power lines and cased damages to several Pepco poles.

Pepco crew came to the scene after the incident and cut the large tree and cleared Edgewood Rd. However it took them at least 17 hours to repair the poles and restore power.

Several residents complained about Pepco’s repeated change of ETRs (Estimated Time to Restorations). when I asked our contact at Pepco, I was told that it sometime happens due to tasks of different nature. What was frustrating, however, was that there was no Pepco crew or truck to be seen working at the spot several hours the road was cleared. Repeated changes in ETR also caused inconveniences to residents as they could not plan if they should leave their homes and find alternate arrangements. One resident particularly complained to me about the difficulties hos ailing father had in running an artificial respiratory system at home. He also complained about loss of refrigerated food. Btw, here you can find more information on filing a claim because of yesterday’s power outage.

Council to Send Letter to Washington Gas to Improve Service in College Park

At last week’s Council worksession, the City Council discussed with the Washington Gas service representatives about a few operations in College Park. Based on the feedback, the council will send a letter to Washington Gas at tonight’s meeting.

The letter asks that Washington Gas adopt the following steps:

l. When residents have concerns about Washington Gas operations in the City, such as when a gas leak persists for multiple days, the City would appreciate access to a contact number which our staff can reliably use to contact Washington Gas to receive the latest status about the incident. The City will not share this phone number with our residents. The City has a similar line of communication with Comcast and Verizon.

2. When a resident calls to report an incident, we suggest that Washington Gas update both the resident and the City about the status of the service once Washington Gas begins the repair work and once it is completed. The City contact is Mr. Steve Halpern, City Engineer (cell: 240-508-7958, or shalpem@collegeparkmd.gov).

3. In a case when a problem continues even after a crew has attempted to fix a leak and residents continue to report the issue to Washington Gas, there should be sufficient information available to the dispatchers that the residents reporting the issue do not have to recount the entire history of the problem. In several cases in the past few months, when Councilmembers and other residents reported ongoing issues to Washington Gas, the dispatchers seemed completely unaware of the history of the issue or past attempts to address it.

The letter also asks Washington Gas to report back on the following issues:

1. Regarding the leaks on Lackawanna Street, why did the incident take many days to locate and adequately repair? Several residents and the two Councilmembers representing this area called numerous times to try to address this issue, and repair crews came out many times to attempt to fix it, but it still took nearly a week, and several calls, to repair it.

2. Regarding the issue on 52nd Place and Kenesaw Street, Washington Gas crews were present for numerous hours, but did not begin work on the leak until well into the evening and late into the night. Why did the crews not begin the project earlier, and instead perform the repair late at night, creating noise that made it difficult for residents to sleep?

City Seeks Funds for Route 1 Undergrounding Work

City is considering to propose a grant request to pay for 50% of the design and bidding package for the undergrounding of utilities associated with the reconstruction of US 1 from College Avenue to MD-193. State Highway Administration has set the cost of this work at an amount not to exceed $300,000; therefore, the CL application will request funding in the amount of$150,000.

Applications for FY 2015 Community Legacy (CL) funding are due to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by July 15, 2014 and require a City Council resolution. For FY 2014, the City submitted an application for $75,000 to expand the Commercial Tenant Improvement Program that was previously funded through an FY 2013 application, but it was not approved for additional funding. In FY 2012, the City received $75,000 for the demolition of vacant and blighted buildings on Route 1, which is in the
process of being closed out.

During a training session on May 14, 2014, the DHCD announced that FY 2015 CL funding would be $6,000,000 statewide. CL funds are aimed at strengthening communities through activities such as business retention and attraction, encouraging homeownership, and public infrastructure improvements. Projects must be consistent with the City’s approved Sustainable Community Plan.

City Council will discuss the matter in more details at next Tuesday’s worksession. Staff is recommending approval of the attached resolution authorizing the City Manager to file a FY 2015 application for the Community Legacy program requesting $150,000 in grant funds.

Gas Leak Scare in Hollywood, School Evacuated

Washington Gas Meters

Yesterday morning, a resident reported that there was a gas leak incident in the east Hollywood area. She also said that the Alhuda school at the east end of Edgewood Road was evacuated because of this.

I soon contacted the school staff and found that the Washington gas crew and the fire marshals scanned the school building area but could not find the source of the gas leak. The crew however said he was aware of two other incidents – one somewhere in the SpringHill Lake apartment area and another from a junkyard near I 295 (I could not verify this with Washington Gas).

Two other residents living in nearby houses (Wichita Ave. and Cheyenne Pl.) said that they also smelled faint gas. Another resident said she smelled gas Tuesday night when she was walking from Greenbelt Metro’s south entrance.

Later in the afternoon, I also sent an inquiry to Washington Gas to find more about this. Washington Gas’s Spokesperson Mr. Rodriguez later called me and wrote to me about the incident:

To reiterate, our technician found no leaks inside or outside the Al Huda School. The Prince George’s County Fire Board evacuated the school as a safety precaution. Once the Washington Gas technician completed his indoor and outdoor test and found no leaks, the Prince George’s County Fire Board pronounced the scene as “clear”.

Mr. Rodriguez also told me that he is not aware of any other incident in our part of the city. However, he strongly suggested residents to call 911 if anyone smells gas in the area.

In addition to calling 911, you should contact Washington Gas immediately at 703-750-1400 or 1-800-752-7520. You can also contact them to check on the status of any previous call.

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