Google Fiber contractor connected to several line breaks

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News is investigating a common connection among recent gas-line breaks.

Channel 2’s Carl Willis has learned crews hired by Google Fiber have been accidentally cutting the lines.

Google told Willis they call 811 before digging but say sometimes the lines aren't marked. Atlanta Gas Light said this kind of damage is way up this year.

Construction crews are digging in at an increasing rate, but they're also hitting more gas and water lines.

"You just wish they would take the time and the effort to make sure it's done right and there's no issues," Atlanta resident Keith Bahun said.

One of the common sights Channel 2 has seen at recent gas line breaks is the contractor being used to install Google Fiber in metro Atlanta.

To date we've confirmed crews installing fiber hit lines on:

  • Johnson Ferry Road in DeKalb County
  • Woodward Avenue near Boulevard in Atlanta
  • Peachtree and 17th streets
  • Roswell Road and South Andrews.

So far, no one has been hurt.

"You never know. That one caveat might go bad one time, and then it might cause a big disruption than ever," said resident Sokish Sand.

Atlanta Gas Light told Willis the surge in damage to their natural gas lines is due to an uptick in construction projects.

In the first quarter they saw a 21 percent increase in locate requests prior to digs. In that time they also saw a 67 percent increase in natural gas line damage across the state caused by third parties.

A Google Fiber spokesperson responded to Willis’ request to find out what's going on. In a statement they wrote:

"As we build a new fiber network for Atlanta, we're also working hard to minimize disruption. That means ensuring that our contractors perform within industry standards, and resolving issues as quickly and safely as possible."

Google Fiber's contractor isn't alone but they are hitting plenty of lines. Still, residents remain hopeful about the finished project.

"Especially with the amount of people that are here, the amount of business," Sands said.

Google said the average internet speed is 14 megabytes a second. Google Fiber will be 1,000 a second. They say that will be groundbreaking.

Some residents told Willis they want crews to be more careful breaking ground.