Telecom crews leave behind mess in Austin neighborhood

Construction on Battle Bend Blvd.
Construction on Battle Bend Blvd.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A neighborhood street in South Austin is littered with mounds of dirt, holes and bright orange plastic fencing.  It’s also the same street where Google Fiber is being installed, but it’s not Google Fiber that is making the mess.

“It has been a long drawn out process of nothing but digging, and huge tractors coming through…big machines,” says Angela Baker who is the HOA President of the Battle Bend Springs Neighborhood. Battle Bend Springs is just one of many neighborhoods getting Google Fiber.

Baker says for the past several months, part of her street has looked more like a war zone.

“It’s an eyesore. It’s been an eyesore the entire time because when you drive down the street it’s been looking like this.”

While crews are busy working on Google Fiber, crews for AT&T are also doing work in the area. A spokesperson for AT&T says they’re replacing a damaged cable and say the cause of the damage is under investigation.

“Our mailboxes are getting knocked down, people’s plants are getting destroyed. It just gets left like a mess,” says Camille Clark who also lives on Battle Bend Boulevard.

AT&T says they expect to be done with their job in two weeks. As for Google Fiber, it’s unclear how much longer they’ll need.

Once crews are finished working in an area, they’re expected to leave conditions similar to how they found them. If you’re having an issue with Google Fiber installation happening in your neighborhood and want to file a complaint, call the Google Fiber Construction Complaint Line at 1-877-454-6959.

Since the race to install high-speed internet in Austin began, we’ve received a number of complaints related to cable crews. In January, one woman showed us the mess she says AT&T crews left in her yard. She says she didn’t get a response from the company until KXAN aired her story. Last September, one homeowner said his lawn was ruined because of crews with Google Fiber; once our story aired the company promised to fix the mess.

Since the beginning of this year, the city of Austin’s 3-1-1 has received more than 150 complaints regarding yard damage done by telecommunication providers.

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