16 Helps You: Utility flag questions answered

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:56 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -On Wednesday, 16 News Now helped you find out why tiny utility flags caused confusion for several homeowners in a St. Joseph County neighborhood.

Residents from several nearby neighborhoods are still reaching out to us the following day asking why they never got any notification for work being done on their front lawns, or even what that work is.

16 News Now reporter Jack Springgate confirmed our local utility companies placed those flags ahead of excavation work to install fiber-optic internet cables for AT&T.

However, neither AT&T nor the utility companies will be the ones doing the digging.

He reached out to the company actually laying the wire to help you find out what to expect if they’re working in your neighborhood.

Always Underground Inc. is the company contracted to lay new fiber optic cables in this part of St. Joseph County and they’re going to be the ones you’ll want to talk to if you’re a homeowner with questions about their digging.

16 News Now confirmed with the company’s vice president, who would only speak off-camera, what AT&T told us on Wed., that residents will get a notice hanging on their door ahead of this excavation, but they only distribute those notices between 24-48 hours before breaking ground.

Residents at Clover Leaf Villas would not have received any notices yet and shouldn’t get any up until a couple of days before they see something like what’s going on across the street at the Sable Ridge subdivision.

I asked one of the residents here if he received any notice before crews dug these holes a couple of months ago.

“None of the 88 different villa residents here received anything. It was all them just showing up and then this crew was working. They’re doing their best but it would have been nice to know ahead of time so we knew what to expect,” said Sable Ridge Villas Association Board member Gary Osborn.

Always Underground Inc. says they keep a record by taking a picture where they hang notices for this specific reason.

The VP said it might take a few days to find the pictures from when they hung notices at Sable Ridge, but we received an example of them hanging a notice in Clover Leaf RV Thursday, signaling the start of excavation sometime Friday afternoon or Saturday.

Always Underground Inc. tells us the construction should be done by the end of Feb., but that’s not the end of the job.

“When they were digging all these holes all the dirt and sod was just tossed aside. A lot of the residents are concerned about who’s going to fix this?” Osborn said.

We asked the VP that same question. He said restoration and landscaping to repair any lawns will happen at the beginning of April.

Anyone with questions about the work being done in their neighborhood or other details about the construction can reach out to Always Underground Inc. at 219-765-0233.

You can also call their headquarters at 219-225-5136.

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