CenturyLink leaves hazardous hole, mess in frustrated homeowners' yards

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 9:18 PM CDT
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Omaha homeowners are frustrated and angry with a utility and an unfinished project that has left them with hazardous backyards.

Three months ago, Mike and Lucia Tietgen watched a CenturyLink contractor dig a hole.

That hole was still open on Friday.

"See, you're getting too close. It's starting to get soft," Lucia Tietgen said.

The hole was dug in adjoining backyards, and the neighbors share the same concern.

"It's just dangerous. The kids, the dog, I mean, I have grandkids. They get curious, they come over and look at it. What if they fell in?" Tietgen said.

A large cable sits exposed at the bottom of the five-foot hole.

"It's only guarded by the snow fences here and it's been falling down. We keep having to prop it up," Mike Tietgen said.

The contractors also ripped up a solid fence, and it wasn't just cut apart over the hole.

"They ripped my fence and they come to get a machine over here so to dig the hole," Edgar Mendeta said.

The machine left ruts on a third property which belongs to a church.

"Three months? It's getting old," Lucia Tietgen said.

Cable runs on top of the backyards and down through the hole with an open utility box and exposed wires on top.

Neighbors are frustrated with the lack of communication.

"At least call us up and let us know what's going on, but they don't even do that," Mike Tietgen said.

The affected neighbors said they aren't even CenturyLink customers.

"We're not asking for any more than what we had before," Lucia Tietgen said.

Six On Your Side contacted CenturyLink's corporate communications, which is investigating.

A subcontractor on the project indicated a dispute over a bid involving another subcontractor may have caused the delay.

UPDATE: Neighbors shared photos of crews working on the hole with 6 News on Saturday morning, the morning after this story ran.

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