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"Call Before You Dig" officially launched.

It's official. On May 1, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) joined with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, the Federal Communications Commission, and representatives from national launch partners, the Associated General Contractors of America, John Deere, The Travelers Companies Inc., and Cox Communications, to ceremonially connect 811, the new national "Call Before You Dig" number.

"Now that there is a single number to call, any time, there's no excuse for putting lives at risk by striking a utility line," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters. "If 911 is the number you call to report emergencies, 811 is the number to call to prevent them."

The 811 number was designated by the FCC in 2005 at the direction of an Act of Congress in 2002. Its creation was supported by more than 15 industry stakeholder groups who encouraged its development and creation and now promote its use nationwide.

To ensure that all Americans know and use 811, the event also kicked off a national public education campaign, which will use an educational Web site (, television and radio PSAs, industry and consumer outreach, and local events to raise awareness of the new number and demonstrate its relevance to consumers and professionals who conduct digging activities. Additionally, the campaign's national launch partners and promotional sponsors will promote the new number through a variety of tactics designed to leverage the grassroots power of their customers, clients and members, creating awareness and positive behavioral change among those most likely to dig.

"Knowing the approximate locations of where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect America's pipelines, industry and people," said CGA President Bob Kipp. "We believe the new 811 number will encourage more people to have their lines marked to protect themselves, their neighbors and their community."

Created to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers across the country and to be an easy-to-remember resource, 811 will make it easier for Americans to call before attempting any digging project, whether it be something small like planting a tree or installing a mailbox or a larger project like building an addition or deck. This quick and efficient one call service notifies the appropriate local utilities, which then send locators or locate technicians to the requested site to mark the approximate location of underground lines.

For more information about the 811 service, campaign, and a new national survey on consumer digging habits, visit
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Title Annotation:NEWSLINE: The latest Industry Developments
Publication:Underground Construction
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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