Heights business owner contacts FOX 26 after seeing no work done on hazardous excavation site

Jean McDowell would be the first to say the reason behind the big, huge hole on Studemont in The Heights is a good one.

"The fact that they're replacing an old steel gas pipe with poly is good. I'm glad they're doing it. I think it's safe," he said. "But in the process, they just kind of left things here."


And what they left could be dangerous to people passing by. The only thing surrounding it is a flimsy plastic retainer.

"There's a kiosk for the bus stop right there 30 feet away, so the potential for people coming by to get to the bus stop, coming back at night. It's always potential and I don't think there's a street light right here either," said McDowell. 

Obviously the sidewalk in front of the hole no longer exists.

"If I had a relative in a wheelchair or something and had to get by there, you have to get out on the street to do it," McDowell said.


He tells us more than a week passed with no one working on the excavation site, so he sent photos and emails.

"I sent it to just about everybody that I could, the mayor's office, my council person, public works, the city legal department," said McDowell.

It could be just a coincidence, but about an hour after we asked CenterPoint and others about this excavation site, a crew showed up even though the workday was almost done.

The job is far from being finished, but this is a start. 


In a statement, CenterPoint said the excavation is part of a project that involves installing and connecting pipelines in the same neighborhood.

CenterPoint says the crew showing up after 4 p.m. had nothing to do with our inquiry, but because someone complained about dirt around a tree contractors promptly responded.