Vail issues stop-work order to contractor after gas leaks

VAIL — As a precautionary measure, the town of Vail has issued a stop work order to the contractor responsible for the two recent gas line breaks to allow for additional safety protocols to be established when digging near utilities. The contractor, Slick Underground Inc., based in Elbert, was informed of the stoppage Tuesday morning by the town’s construction inspector in consultation with the fire department.

Representatives from Xcel Energy and other utilities will be joining public safety officials from the town and the contractor this week to research the cause of the two incidents and take the appropriate remedial steps to prevent future problems.

The first incident occurred last Aug. 6, when workers inadvertently ruptured a natural gas line in Lionshead, prompting the evacuation of guests and employees from three nearby lodges. Then, on Monday, boring by the contractor in the Matterhorn neighborhood caused a second emergency evacuation when workers struck a gas line there.

Slick Underground has been working for Aspen Wireless on the Vail Distributed Antenna System fiber optic installation project. The work began last fall and has included boring approximately 40,000 feet of conduit, to date.

The contractor will be allowed to resume work only after the additional safety protocols have been identified and implemented.

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