Blue Springs neighbors furious over messy construction work causing property damage

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Homeowners in a Blue Springs neighborhood are furious about what they call sloppy construction work.

"Really no notice. Nobody said anything. Then all the sudden I get home from work one day and there's holes in the yard," homeowner Steve Gwadera said.

Neighbors in the Kingsridge area have been putting up with the construction for almost two months, and many homeowners say it's been a nightmare.

"Oh my. Where do we start?" Gwadera said.

It turns out AT&T is installing fiber optic cables in the area and contracted out the labor. A subcontractor called GMD Services is actually doing the work.

Gwadera just spent big bucks fixing his lawn this fall, and now it's a filled with mud piles and holes.

"Now I'm stuck with this. I feel like somebody needs to come fix it," he said.

Over the holidays, one homeowner had sewage back up into her home. Fiber optic cable had been pushed directly through her sewer line, forcing emergency repairs totaling $7,000.

Just down the street, there's been even more damage.

"We got a phone call from our dog sitter as we were on vacation about the second day that we were gone that the worker people broke a water line, and they're going to have to tear up the driveway to get it fixed," homeowner Boone Caples said.

Caples came home to find the water line fixed but a pile of gravel dumped in his driveway.

"We knew they were breaking people's driveways. We didn't think it was going to happen to us," Caples said.

He and his wife are now trying to get it repaired the right way.

Homeowners know the mess could be considered a price of progress for high-speed services, but many said the way the work is being done is unacceptable.

"I understand they're doing their job. They've got to make a living. It just could've been done a lot better than this," Gwadera said.

AT&T released a statement in response to the community's concerns:

“As we work to expand and enhance our fiber network to deliver ultra-high speeds to the Kansas City area, our goal is to minimize the effect on residents as much as possible. Unfortunately one of our contractors damaged water lines that were improperly marked. We will continue to address any impacts from our work and apologize for the inconvenience.”

Gas lines have also been hit in this neighborhood. Court records show the subcontractor, GMD Services, has previously been sued by Spire twice this year for damage caused on job sites.

Meanwhile, the city of Blue Springs said AT&T's project has been happening in other neighborhoods around the city for several months, and overall, neighbors have been pleased with the work and the cleanup crews have done once they're finished.

But if any contractor doesn't follow orders to fix damage they cause or properly cleanup within established time windows, the city can revoke the company's permitting and bond.

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