Letters to the Editor

Lack of respect by sewer contractors

I am absolutely appalled at the seeming lack of regard for the safety of our fine citizens by the sub-standard contractors that the city of North Bend has doing the construction for the new utility district.

I have watched for weeks as the contractors do not have enough safety equipment, personnel, flaggers and other required-by-law safety measures in place while they do this work. Additionally, I’ve watched them be rude to citizens, toss cigarette butts on private property, and use inappropriate language when minors are about (a normal occurrence when big equipment and construction occur literally in people’s back yards).

If those symptoms weren’t enough, I saw this poor safety track record leave a motorist’s car completely totaled because only two flaggers were stationed to direct four egresses of traffic at the intersections of 424th and North Bend Way, heavy equipment was minimizing the car lanes, and a huge hole in the road that was improperly marked. To add insult to injury, the workers cussed at the poor driver and told him it was his fault. Really? I find that hard to believe.

You, Mr. contractor, create an unsafe environment and expect the citizens to assume the liability of your negligence? I am also aware that this isn’t the first motorist to incur damage during this utility district construction. Many companies with that kind of accident record would be fired—or at minimum never allowed to work on civil municipal projects again.

However, the leaders of North Bend seem less than concerned.

I’ve made calls, sent e-mails to the city leaders and have been absolutely ignored. Perhaps a formal complaint to Occupational Safety & Health Administration might spur the leaders into action? Where are the quality assurance inspectors for the city? More importantly, where is common sense by the contractors?

Is someone—likely an unsuspecting child—going to have to get seriously hurt before someone gets these “lowest bidder” contractors to do the work safely, professionally and actually improve our community as oppose to make it worse?

Disgusted in North Bend,

Donna Hawthorne

North Bend

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