I Went And Did It Too; Highway Dept. Blues

nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,088 ******
edited July 2007 in General Discussion
Big mess.

We have been getting a lot of rain. Drainage ditch in front of house, on the highway right-of-way, needs work, and allows a lot of water to stand. It has been this way a long time, but the problem has been more apparent this year, with all the rain.

Several years ago, I had called the TXDOT to clean the ditch. After enough time had passed that I had forgot I had called, they sent out a feller with a weed trimmer and he cut the weeds. I figured that was all they meant to do.

Well, last Tuesday, I called again and emailed about the drainage problem. Thursday, (TWO DAYS LATER--WOW!) a whole crew showed up. Three or four pickups, big truck with telescoping scoop, and several highway department yahoos.

They commenced to digging and scooping, thoroughly irritating my neighbor to the north, who is old and crichety and didn't want his ditch dug out. They kept digging onto my place, and very shortly they severed the fiber optic cable laid near the ditch by A.T. &T. So I had no phone and no Internet. The cable route was marked, by the way. So, they quit that day. I did caution the foreman that there were also some buried water lines near the ditch.

Then Friday, they showed up again, this time with an A.T.&T. guy to fix the cable. He did and restored my phone and Internet. One lane was shut down, and there were two flagmen working traffic. They kept digging, and shortly busted into the water service line of someone south of me. That filled the ditch even more full of water than it had been before. Now, they had to call a plumber out.

Plumbers fixed the pipes. TXDOT yahoos kept on digging, and got the ditch in front of my house cleaned out fine. Only thing is, my neighbor's culvert is clogged up and his ditch also needs work, so my ditch has only been improved by increasing its water holding capacity. It still does not drain.

Dawnie said we should release some fish in the ditch.

I figure to give them a week and if they don't come back and finish, I'll start the process over again.

Gotta love the highway department.


  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,756 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you had put a shovel in the ground and dug for fishing worms and cut a cable all H*** would have broke loose with the utility companies. Just don't let the water back up out of the ditch and come toward your home.
  • spryorspryor Member Posts: 9,155
    edited November -1
    Here to get any action takes MANY phone calls, and a few irate visits to their office...That's just to get their attention. Then they may or, may not address the problem.
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,756 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a clause in my Hydroseed agreements that has the homeowner calling the toll free number to have all underground utilities marked before I do any digging or rototilling. I have already cut phone lines that are not where the phone company marked. If you want them out fast.. Call them up and tell them I think I smell gas.[}:)][}:)]
  • dolfandolfan Member Posts: 4,159
    edited November -1
    Florida State law requires calling 1-800-Sunshine 48 hours prior to excavating. You can be fined up to $5K and pay for any damaged utility if you fail to call them.

    Texas should do the same.


    Excavator Responsibilities

    Excavators throughout Florida are responsible for notifying SSOCOF of their proposed excavations so that SSOCOF can notify all members with underground facilities near the excavation site.

    Members or their agents working entirely on single family residential property are exempt from calling SSOCOF if they are digging to a depth of 10 inches or less. However, members or their agents must call when any excavation is going to be done within the utility easements or when excavation will take place where underground facilities exist
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