WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) today announced plans for a season-long promotion at Kentucky Speedway (KYS) that will remind race fans to always call 811 before they dig to avoid damaging buried utility lines – by attracting their attention to signage that's at ground level and below, in underground tunnels.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of an unintentional damage, which can cause serious injuries, service disruptions and repair costs. An underground utility line is damaged every eight minutes because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to CGA data.
According to a national survey of homeowners conducted by CGA in March, half of all homeowners who plan to dig on their property this year for a do-it-yourself project have either attended or watched a NASCAR race on television during the past year.
CGA will work with KYS to install decals that feature the 811 logo and an image of an open hole with buried utility lines below it. At least 20 of these decals will be affixed in high-traffic locations on the concourse and midway.
Additionally, CGA will reach the thousands of fans who travel the pedestrian tunnel that connects the Kentucky Speedway grandstand to the infield via additional signage and public service announcements, featuring Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, via the public address system that explain the importance of 811 and the consequences of choosing to dig without making this free phone call. CGA will also place signage along the fence that lines the infield tunnel walkway.
Additionally Caterpillar, courtesy of Whayne Supply, will provide one additional element to the campaign for the June 27-29 race weekend, with two pieces of excavation equipment on site. This equipment is often used for earth moving on construction sites where professional excavators are responsible for calling 811.
The season-long promotion is made possible through the financial support of ten CGA members – Alabama 811, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, Georgia 811, Indiana 811, Kentucky 811, Ohio Utilities Protection Service, Paradigm Public Awareness Programs, Tennessee 811 and United States Infrastructure Corporation.
"The primary challenge in promoting the importance of the 'Call 811' message is that buried utility lines are out of sight, which makes them out of mind for most Americans," said CGA President Bob Kipp. "Thanks to the cooperative partnership of CGA members, we are able to communicate critical safety information to hundreds of thousands of race fans in a way that makes them aware of the buried utilities below them and the importance of knowing the approximate location of these facilities before digging."
There are more than 100 billion feet of underground utilities in the United States, according to data compiled by CGA from various utility industry groups. That figure equates to more than one football field's length (105 yards) of buried utilities for every American.
"Caterpillar is proud to be a member of Common Ground Alliance and to partner in educating race fans about 811," said Jim Zak, Manager of North American National Accounts for Caterpillar. "The equipment we will have on site at the three races held at the end of the month is likely very similar to machinery contractors used to build Kentucky Speedway and its underground tunnels. We hope that the presence of Caterpillar equipment will further emphasize the importance of the 811 message to the many fans in attendance at these races."
CGA encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project:
- Always call 811 a few days before digging to reach your local one call center, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property where you plan to dig.
- Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
- Confirm that all lines have been marked by the utility operators near your planned dig site.
- Learn what the various colors of paint and flags represent at www.call811.com/faqs.
- Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
- If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don't allow work to begin if the lines aren't marked.
CGA is a member-driven association of 1,500 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at www.commongroundalliance.com.
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SOURCE Common Ground Alliance