PG&E crews begin rebuilding underground lines in Santa Rosa's Coffey Park after fires

KGO logo
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
PG&E rebuilding underground lines in Santa Rosa fire zone
PG&E crews have started rebuilding the underground power and gas lines in Santa Rosa's Coffey Park neighborhood Monday morning.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Around the scorched, now fire-scarred Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa, homeowners have been measuring progress by the truckloads of rubble, by reams of paper work and permits; and now by the foot - in trenches.

Pacific Gas and Electric brought out the heavy equipment Monday to begin replacing 15 miles of gas and electrical lines ruined in last fall's firestorm. The utility hasn't put a price on this specific work. It says only that the project is part of more than $200 million of work going into the region.

RELATED: Students return to Santa Rosa school damaged by North Bay fires

"This took considerable planning and coordination," said Deanna Contras, who speaks for PG&E. The lines will include telephone and cable connections, as well.

PG&E has staged supplies and equipment on a 17 acre lot near the corner of Coffee Land and Dennis Lane, just outside the burn area. A few residents have complained about the trucks and noise. Most are fine with it. "I still have my house. I thought we had lost it," said Gael Ashmore as she watched more supplies roll by. "We need to get back to normal. This is part of that process."

Click here for a look at more stories and videos about the North Bay fires.

PG&E hopes to have all the utilities laid and work finished by October 31.

One resident has lived in the area for 30 years. He says his land is almost ready for a new foundation.

"We're not in a hurry because we want it done right, not quickly. I think the city's still trying to figure some things out but we're on track so it's going to be a long process for all of us," Coffey Park resident Scott Wise said.

PHOTOS: Fires force evacuations in Napa, Calistoga areas

1 of 197
Debbie Wolfe looks over the burned ruins of her home of 30 years Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo