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614-583-5000 3600 Tremont Rd

Importance of Utility Flags and Traffic Cones in Construction Zones

A concerning trend has recently emerged in several Upper Arlington neighborhoods. Public Service Department staff have been notified that utility flags are being removed from residential properties and traffic cones and barriers are being moved by residents in construction zones. While it might seem like a harmless action, the repercussions can be far-reaching, posing safety risks to utility and construction crews.

Utility flags serve a crucial purpose in indicating the presence of underground utilities such as gas lines, water pipes, or electrical cables. When these flags are removed without authorization, it creates confusion for utility crews who rely on them to perform maintenance or repairs. Accidentally damaging a utility line due to the absence of flags can result in serious consequences, including service disruptions, property damage, or even personal injury.

Similarly, the relocation of traffic cones or barriers in construction zones pose a serious safety risk to drivers and pedestrians. Cones are strategically placed to guide traffic safely around construction areas, designating lanes, redirecting vehicles, and alerting drivers to potential hazards. When these cones are moved by unauthorized individuals, it disrupts the traffic flow and increases the likelihood of accidents occurring.

Property owners and drivers must understand that removing or moving utility flags and traffic cones is not only prohibited but also has extremely dangerous consequences. If there are concerns about the placement of utility flags or traffic cones, residents should contact the City of Upper Arlington Public Service Department at 614-583-5350, Monday-Friday between 8 am-4 pm.

Residents can also reach out directly to the Ohio Utility Protection Services (OUPS) by calling 800-362-2764 or by clicking here. Flags and/or paint markings may be due to an upcoming City project, or oftentimes a contractor may have called in to notify ahead of a project requiring digging on private property by a neighbor or yourself (such as: fence installation, landscaping, tents requiring staking, cables/wiring to service a house, etc.)

Ohio Universal Marking Standards
RedElectric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables
YellowGas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum, or Gaseous Materials
OrangeCommunication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit
BluePotable Water
PurpleReclaimed Water, Irrigation, Slurry Lines
GreenSewers and Drain Lines
PinkTemporary Survey Markings
WhiteProposed Excavating
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