The Gas Company installed about 16 of the signs along East Coast Highway as a safety measure to mark a natural gas line located beneath the highway, said Denise King, a gas company senior communications manager, in an email.
“This was done in accordance with the federal requirements,” she said in an email; read our earlier story here.
Newport Beach Public Works Director Dave Webb reached out to the utility to ask about the signs, said Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman.
In the end, King said, the utility company figured out a way to compromise.
“We did a some investigating to see if other marking options were available while still meeting federal requirements,” she wrote. “SoCalGas has determined that the use of curb-face-type markings in this area is an option. Early next week, our surveyors will return to the area and, where possible and appropriate, replace the line markers with curb-face markers.”
The markers were installed with public safety in mind, she added.
“Informing the public and maintaining a safe natural gas system is our highest priority and we’re happy we were able to find a solution that works for both SoCalGas and the community,” she said.
Some residents and business leaders had expressed concerns that the signs were a blight on village tree wells, which have been planted and tended by volunteers with the Business Improvement District at a cost of thousands of dollars.