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Rattling steel plates and a gas leak on Columbia Pike are the work of a 5G contractor, officials say

(Updated, 4:40 p.m.) Loose steel plates on Columbia Pike that are keeping residents up at night with the sounds of cars driving over them are the work of a general contractor doing 5G work.

The same contractor also damaged a gas line on the Pike causing a large gas leak last week, according to Washington Gas.

The plates were recently installed on the 1800 block of Columbia Pike, prompting complaints from residents who say that they are rattling and banging loudly when passing vehicles drive on them. The plates are the result of work done by contractor Crown Castle, a spokesperson for the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services tells ARLnow.

“We’ve determined those annoyingly loud plates on Columbia Pike to be the work of a 5G contractor,” spokesperson Peter Golkin tells ARLnow. “Our Construction Management and Permits folks have been investigating and will work to get the plates secured and end the racket as soon as possible.”

The racket was first brought to both ARLnow’s and the county’s attention by rattled citizens on social media.

Crown Castle blames the rattling steel plates on a general contractor working for the telecom infrastructure company. The steel plates have since been removed and replaced it with asphalt, a company spokesperson has confirmed to ARLnow.

“Crown Castle continues to expand our infrastructure in Arlington to provide connectivity to the community. One of Crown Castle’s general contractors was conducting work to support network enhancements for our enterprise and wireless customers, including 5G,” wrote a company spokesperson. “The temporary steel plate has been removed and has been replaced with asphalt. Final restoration will be completed in the coming weeks as we coordinate with the county and account for holiday schedules.”

Washington Gas tells ARLnow that the contractor is also responsible for damaging a gas line near S. Scott Street during the course of this work. That resulted in Columbia Pike between Quinn Street and S. Walter Reed Drive being shut down for several hours.

“Washington Gas recently conducted repair work to a natural gas line that was damaged by a third party contractor on Columbia Pike,” a spokesperson for the natural gas provider wrote.

Crown Castle confirmed to ARLnow that its general contractor damaged the gas line.

“We coordinated with Washington Gas and the county to quickly address and repair the situation and restore service,” the spokesperson wrote.

A short distance away from the newly-repaired gas line, the rattling steel plates remained until at least Friday afternoon, when an ARLnow photographer observed the scene. While there, the photographer saw that crews had removed some of the plates to continue work below.

DES said at the time that it was investigating and asking the contractor to fix and secure the plates as well as lower the noise level in general. Golkin said the county appreciates the outreach from residents.

“We want [to] thank the nearby residents for alerting the County directly and through social media,” he said.

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