Massive Dallas Gas Line Replacement Still Disrupts Neighborhoods After 2018 Explosion

In 2018, 12-year-old Linda Rogers was killed nearby when the explosion from a leaking gas line destroyed her home

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Years after a fatal Dallas gas leak that killed a 12-year-old girl, a massive supply line replacement project is still underway in the area where that leak occurred.

Neighbors say they are glad to finally get safer pipes, but some are tired of the mess Atmos contractors leave behind.

The alley behind Lockmoor Lane is so rough it's hard to drive on a dry day. In the rain, neighbors say it becomes an impassable muddy mess.

Residents park cars out on the street instead of trying to use garages accessed from that alley, where Atmos finished work months ago.

“And once they did the work I was hopeful, we would then have like a new alleyway. I was like, ‘OK, maybe they’ll do the gas lines, do the alleyway,' and it will be like it should always have been. But it went the opposite direction,” Homeowner Spenser Marriot said.

In 2018, 12-year-old Linda Rogers was killed nearby when the explosion from a leaking gas line destroyed her home.

Atmos was later fined $1.6 million for inadequate maintenance.

The massive supply line replacement Atmos launched right after the fatal blast has finally reached Marriot’s street near Walnut Hill Lane.

It turns out, his alley was rated with a failing grade and was due for replacement before Atmos got started with the line replacement there. And the company is only required to bring it back to the condition it was in before utility work began.

The City of Dallas was doing its part Wednesday with a large segment of street repaving just outside Marriot’s alley. 

City Council Member Omar Narvaez who represents the neighborhood said alley upgrades will come from the city after all the neighborhood utility lines are replaced, instead of allowing a new alley to get dug up.

“So now we work with everyone together. It’s something new in the policy where we try to put all infrastructure in at the same time,” Narvaez said.

And even sooner, an Atmos spokesperson said the utility will make much better repairs over the next few weeks as the line replacement is completed in that neighborhood.

“Construction always is hard to live through, but typically when it is all finished and done we are all very happy with the finished product,” Narvaez said.

Marriot said those comments are encouraging.

“Awesome, well I hope so. And I think we will not have all the cars on the street and make the neighborhood a lot nicer,” he said.

The Atmos representative said the company will also be reaching out directly to that customer.

Here is more of the Atmos statement:

"Atmos Energy remains focused on its vision to be the safest provider of natural gas services, and part of our commitment includes system modernization work that demonstrates a continued investment in safety, innovation, environmental sustainability, and our communities.

We thank the community for their patience as we work to safely modernize our natural gas system.

Atmos Energy will be on Lockmoor Lane and in the surrounding areas to perform permanent repair activities for the next few months. This work includes paving repairs (including streets, sidewalks, curbs, and walking trails), landscaping, and sewer main inspections, which will take several weeks to complete depending on weather and resource scheduling."

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