CDOT construction in Morrison causes cell service outage in Summit County |

CDOT construction in Morrison causes cell service outage in Summit County

CDOT construction this summer has not only frustrated Interstate 70 drivers but also has irritated residents and visitors whose cell phone and internet service experienced outages on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.
Getty Images/Ingram Publishing | Ingram Publishing

The cut fiber was 50 miles away.

A CDOT crew working on a traffic safety engineering project — a guardrail — in Morrison cut a fiber cable by mistake around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, that was integral to local Comcast phone and Internet service infrastructure and caused outages in parts of Summit County.

CDOT spokeswoman Emily Wilfong said the agency and its contractors always try to locate utility lines when starting projects but, “unfortunately, this line was missed.”

Verizon Wireless customers were among those impacted because Verizon uses that Comcast infrastructure, said Meagan Dorsch, mountain region public relations manager.

“We know it’s an inconvenience for our customers, and we try to work as quickly as possible with our vendors to get that service back up on running,” she said.

Spotty or sporadic service was restored later that night, around 1 a.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, Summit residents dependent on reliable cell or wireless internet service for work found themselves wanting to throw their devices, and some took to social media to voice safety and other concerns.

Summit School District reported having trouble with school phones, and Silverthorne Police Department chief Mark Hanschmidt said the police computer system was down Saturday as residents and visitors were again frustrated by outages, which may also have been caused by nearby construction.

Comcast restored service around 9 p.m. Saturday, and spokeswoman Cindy Parsons said, “There is work underway to bring full redundancy to the I-70 corridor in the future, which will help avoid this from happening in the future.”

She said she couldn’t yet provide further details on when local infrastructure redundancy would be completed but said it already is in place for most residential customers.

Dorsch said Verizon customers can report future outages in multiple ways: Through the My Verizon section of, by calling the company’s customer care line at (800) 922-0204 or by reaching out through Twitter (@VZWSupport) or Facebook (Verizon).

People can also contact local news sources — including the Summit Daily — and employees will try to find out when service should be restored and post updates.

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