Plumbing crew accused of damaging historic street

Neighbors are upset after workers with a construction crew allegedly damaged bricks on a historic street.

HOUSTON - Residents in the Fourth Ward are upset after they say construction workers dug up historic bricks.

City inspectors will be surveying the damage done to the historic bricks in Freedmen's Town after a contractor dug up a section of Andrews Street Saturday afternoon.

Neighbors confronted workers with E&A Plumbing as they dug up the bricks to connect a new home at 1105 Andrews St. to water main.

"These bricks were layed down by freed slaves that settled this community 150 years ago," said Rev. Pervis Hall who is with the Freedmen's Town Preservation Coalition. "They were cutting into history."

This incident happened just six blocks away from the spot on Andrews Street that was disturbed by a sewer contractor last November.

After that happened, Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered all work on the bricks to stop unless his office was notified and an archeologist was present.

There was no archeologist at the site when crews were working on Saturday. The city says it wasn't notified of any work being done on a public street in the area.

E&A Plumbing owner Domingo Lopez claimed his company had proper permits and says his workers had to dig in the street because the water connection was under the street.

The permit issued to the company specifically said "pavement on the city right of way shall not be disturbed" and that excavation was for a "sidewalk cut only".

The mayor was notified of the damage to the bricks Saturday night, according to a city spokeswoman.

In a statement sent to KHOU 11, Houston's Public Works Department said the contractor didn't have permission to dig up the street.

Moving forward, the city will be contacting anyone doing work in the area and informing them what they can and cannot do.

City officials say inspectors will likely issue a ticket to the plumbing company for the damage to the historic street.


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