Toward the end of March, CenturyLink switched their locate services from USIC to DirectSat. Since then, there has been an unprecedented amount of mishandled locate tickets. GSOC estimates over half of the 45,000 plus tickets belong to CenturyLink and have not been properly located by the facility, which falls under their jurisdiction in 216D.04.
On Monday, May 6, CenturyLink held an Excavator Forum to address issues and concerns from contractors. The takeaway was CenturyLink was training staff to locate and mark their facilities and they would be caught up with their backlog by sometime in mid-June. The end of the conversation left utility contractors who sat in on the Forum feeling this should never have transpired and more should be done to remedy the situation. Despite CenturyLink's offer to have contractors send invoices to CenturyLink, by statute they are not obligated to pay for any damages to a contractor for a bad locate or revenue lost due to downtime.
As AGC of Minnesota and its members move forward with this serious public safety issue, please do the following:
1. Create documentation by taking photos and keeping records with the date and time of any and all issues you are having with a locate ticket with any facility your company has contracted with.
2. Create invoices that keep track of lost downtime and wages.
3. Call 1-800-667-9963 for any issues with a CenturyLink locate ticket. It is a direct number to inquire about open and recently completed locate requests. A contact sheet with CenturyLink Underground Facility Locate Contacts is available here.
- For "Emergency" tickets, this is a phone call to the number listed for the requestor to make the excavator aware of the expected completion window.
- For "Meet" tickets, this is an auto message or text with notification that we are running behind, along with a way to reach us for more information.
4. File a complaint with the Office of Pipeline Safety.