BAKERSFIELD, CA - It's the shallowest gas line the Kern County Roads Department said it has ever seen. Just four inches below the surface, a road grinder hit the PG&E line, causing an explosion and fire on Monday. Now, the county is trying to figure out why the gas line wasn't lowered.
The county thought it was lowered, but apparently it wasn't.
"Someone dropped the ball," said Floyd Reading who lives a block away from where the gas line broke.
According to the Kern County Roads Department, the contractor Burtch Construction, went to Alta Vista six months ago and dug holes to check the depth of the utilities. The county said the contractor noticed the shallow lines.
"We spent probably three to four months lowering mains, gas mains, water lines, AT&T, everything we knew was out there," said Craig Pope, Director of the Kern County Roads Department.
According to the county's plans, the county knew the gas line hit was there. The county says PG&E lowered the line in the center of the road, but not the curb.
"We don't know why it didn't get verified or why it didn't get relocated," said Pope. "We're trying to figure that out."
So, it's investigating with the help of PG&E.
"It's extremely important for us to investigate this incident so we can know what happened and make sure incidents like this don't happen again," said Katie Allen, Spokesperson for PG&E.
Until it's figured out, construction is completely stopped on the Alta Vista Drive repaving project, leaving a gravel road.
"That's not fair to us in this neighborhood because of all the dust," said Reading.
The county promises to contain it by spraying water.
Down the road, residents are worried not about the dust, but about when the project will start up again.
"I hope PG&E gets their act together before they make it down to my house," said Shannon Pruett.
The county said it plans to recheck the depth of every gas line on Alta Vista.
"Because we thought we were good and obviously we're not, we now have to check ourselves," said Pope.
"I just want somebody to repair where the mistakes are at and what needs to be done, so that we're all back in a safe neighborhood again," said Reading.
The county expects it will be at least a couple of months before the resurfacing project begins again.