2017-05-31 / Front Page

Street Marks: Shades Of Things To Come

By Liz Goff

Residents and business owners in neighborhoods throughout Long Island City and Astoria have been questioning the meaning of various colors that are spray painted on local streets and sidewalks.

It’s simple, city officials said. The colors are used to identify underground utility lines for construction crews, municipal and cable company workers who are planning to dig nearby,” a spokesperson for the city Department of Design & Construction (DDC) said.
Before the first shovel can hit the ground in any repair or development project, city homeowners, architects and developers are required to perform a survey to determine the location of underground facilities.

A team of locaters visit sites to measure and mark the distance of water, gas, electric, cable and other utility lines that lay close to projects requiring excavation. The locaters provide project marking using New York City’s Uniform Color Code:

A red mark indicates pending work on power lines, cables, conduit or lighting cables.
A yellow mark means work is pending by gas, natural gas, oil or steam utilities
Orange markings indicate pending work on underground alarm and cable systems
A blue mark indicates a project involving water mains and other potable water systems

A pink mark is used to indicate a temporary survey or preliminary probe is underway at the site

Green paint indicates pending installation of a new sewer line.

White paint indicates imminent excavation at the site.

Purple indicates a pending project on water lines connected to a nearby car wash.

The color purple is used to identify water rated a degree below drinkable, but useable by a private business through a holding tank. The water can be used in irrigation systems or in a filtered system that takes out suds, making it perfect for use by a car wash. The systems must be drained and maintained on a scheduled basis, a process that requires excavation.

Multiple colors at one location are a sure sign that excavation will soon begin in the area to make way for a new residential or commercial development.  “The multiple colors act as a roadmap for construction crews,” a DDC spokesperson said. “They let workers know where underground utility lines are located, where not to dig.”

Dial “311” for information or inquiries about permits or surveys.

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