Wyoming Road-Mapping Project Will Help Prevent Damage from Digging
Feb. 20, 2015—Wyoming contractors, utilities, governments and members of the public will have access to detailed, computerized information about the state’s roads as a result of a grant awarded to One-Call of Wyoming (OCW) in conjunction with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming.
Under the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), OCW will coordinate a street-mapping project that will establish a computer system for the automated collection, normalization and publication of Wyoming’s geospatial roads data.
“Our objective under this grant award is to provide a process for updating and maintaining an accurate road database, which will improve the damage prevention process by assuring accurate communication between excavators, notification center representatives and the owners of underground facilities,” says Mark Ransdell, president of the OCW Board of Directors. “This is a great cooperative effort and will be a win-win proposition for everyone involved, including a step forward for public safety.”
Whether you are adding a room to your house, building a road, digging a trench, planting a tree or doing anything else that requires digging, you run the risk of hitting and damaging electric, telephone and gas lines; water and sewer lines; TV or Internet cables; and pipelines carrying crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. State law requires you to contact One-Call Wyoming by dialing 811 or 800-849-2476 to request underground facilities be located and marked before you dig.
The service is free to the caller but, if you don’t call for a location and if your excavation damages an underground facility, under state law you could “be liable for all damages, including personal injury and property damages, caused by the excavation.” You also could be fined up to $5,000. Wyoming law requires underground facility owners to respond to “811” ticket requests within two business days and to locate their facilities with marks on the surface.
To reduce the likelihood of such damage, the updated road database will be available to a variety of users in Wyoming, including OCW.