Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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DPW secures construction site after WBRZ inquiry

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BATON ROUGE - About a week after a child fell into a hole and drowned, more unsecured holes were spotted around East Baton Rouge Parish.

The holes along Claycut Road in mid-city are intended to prepare ground for sewer work. The work activity is utility relocations and adjustments in preparation for a Baton Rouge SSO Program project.

Monday, the holes were left open, with orange cones and yellow caution tape surrounding them. In some areas, the tape was lying on the ground. After rain, some holes were filled with water, others exposing piping.

Neighbors understand the work needs to be done.

"I mean it's definitely a potential hazard for anybody," said Jake Jacobs, whose property is next to some of the holes. "I mean cars can run into it, but it has to be done, there's no way around it."

Tuesday, after a phone call into the Department of Public Works, WBRZ learned the holes were protected further with orange fencing.

In an email to WBRZ, DPW Interim Director Bryan Harmon said,"While we do not direct or control the utility company contractors, our program team has had conversation with them and they have been working to get the area cleaned up and secured."

The city parish contractor performing the sewer work is currently addressing an area further down the road, and will not be working where the holes were left, until the utilities have been cleared.

While the holes will remain there until the work is complete, neighbors say the orange fencing will help.

"You can't just leave a hole open, I mean you can leave a hole open, but you have to barricade it up," said Jacobs. "We don't have small children playing in the street ever. We have a lot of walkers, but I think with the cones and the barricade and the tape, I'm really not worried about anyone falling in or anything."







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