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Safety Rolls into Fort Wayne

On Thursday, April 23, Speedway Concrete Aggregates Supplies will unveil a concrete mixer truck with a new look. The truck will not only deliver concrete, it will also carry an important safety message. The revolving drum has been decorated with high-impact graphics displaying 811, the national call-before-you-dig hotline. The 811 concrete mixer is the first of its kind.

The unveiling will take place at 10 a.m. EST at the Speedway Redi-Mix plant at 4817 Industrial Road.

811 is a free national service that locates and marks underground utilities, such as water and gas lines, so that digging work can be done safely. Two days before any digging project, you can make the toll-free call to 811 or enter a request online at Callers to 811 are connected to a local notification center that will ask information about the digging project and communicate it to local utility companies, including NIPSCO. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both.

Speedway Safety Director Derek Ray commented, “90% of the damages from ‘non-located excavations’ (not calling 811 before digging) have concrete on the site at some time. The potential hazard of a utility strike is always increased when you are digging blind. Our partnership with NIPSCO allows us to increase awareness to the hazards of underground utilities for workers on the job site as well as the homeowners working in their own yards. Both companies place the safety of employees and the public as the number one priority.”

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can disrupt service and result in serious injuries and costly repairs.

There are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States. That figure equates to more than one football field’s length (105 yards) of buried utilities for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

"Making a free call to 811 reduces the likelihood of causing an incident, such as service outages or injuries,” said Luke Selking, manager of pipeline safety for NIPSCO. “We want this message to be top-of-mind as do-it-yourselfers begin planning their gardening or home improvement projects this spring and summer."

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