'I just did them a favor': Arnold Schwarzenegger slams gas company SoCalGas over 'pothole' which was actually 'service trench'
LOS ANGLES, CALIFORNIA: Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a swipe at a gas company for leaving a service trench incomplete on a Los Angeles road. The actor-turned-politician posted a video on Twitter of himself filling what he believed to be a "giant pothole", which he claimed had been "screwing up cars and bicycles for weeks" in the Brentwood neighborhood.
However, it was later discovered that the trench was actually a "service trench" used for "permitted work" by the gas company, SoCalGas, according to the Los Angeles authorities. Responding to the authorities, Schwarzenegger's spokesperson, Daniel Ketchell, criticized the gas company's delay in completing the trench work.
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SoCalGas finished upgrading a pipeline at the end of January
He said, "If the gas company thinks finishing their work and leaving a trench in one lane of a two-lane road for six months that requires cars and bicyclists to drive in wrong way traffic - again, for six months - they should go back to school." Ketchell also explained that Schwarzenegger did not blame LA Mayor Karen Bass, who had only recently taken office and was looking to employ more road workers, the Sky News reported.
Ketchell added that Schwarzenegger's intention was to encourage the completion of such work in a timely manner. The Los Angeles Times reported that SoCalGas had finished upgrading a pipeline at the end of January and "applied temporary paving over the excavation". However, due to rainy weather, the company's schedule was delayed, causing them to complete the permanent paving at a later date.
Ketchell also took to Twitter and criticized the company's "bureaucratic damage control". He wrote, "It’s always important to take bureaucratic damage control with a grain of salt. First, they implied @schwarzenegger paved over active gas work that would finish at the end of May. Then, the truth came out: the gas work was done in January (and the timeline for paving sped up)."
It’s always important to take bureaucratic damage control with a grain of salt. First, they implied @schwarzenegger paved over active gas work that would finish at the end of May. Then, the truth came out: the gas work was done in January (and the timeline for paving sped up). pic.twitter.com/37jCGFx85L— Daniel Ketchell (@ketch) April 13, 2023
'They thought it was a good plan to take six months to cover the trench'
Schwarzenegger then quoted Ketchell's tweet and confirmed that the pipeline work had been finished in January. He added, "Apparently, they thought it was a good plan to take six months to cover the trench, so I just did them a favor. And why don’t they talk about the second pothole I filled?"
So everyone knows, the pipeline work was finished in January. Apparently, they thought it was a good plan to take six months to cover the trench, so I just did them a favor.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) April 13, 2023
And why don’t they talk about the second pothole I filled? https://t.co/texIq8ISz1
'I always say, let's not complain'
Schwarzenegger also posted a video of himself and another person using packaged asphalt cold patch material to repair a road. In the Twitter post accompanying the video, Schwarzenegger wrote, "Today, after the whole neighborhood has been upset about this giant pothole that's been screwing up cars and bicycles for weeks, I went out with my team and fixed it. "I always say, let's not complain, let's do something about it. Here you go."
Today, after the whole neighborhood has been upset about this giant pothole that’s been screwing up cars and bicycles for weeks, I went out with my team and fixed it. I always say, let’s not complain, let’s do something about it. Here you go. pic.twitter.com/aslhkUShvT— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) April 11, 2023
'It’s a service trench'
However, a spokesperson for the City of Los Angeles informed Schwarzenegger that he may have been misinformed about the trench's nature. The spokesperson told NBC Los Angeles, "This is not a pothole It’s a service trench that relates to active, permitted work being performed at the location by SoCal Gas, who expects the work to be completed by the end of May.... As is the case with similar projects impacting City streets, SoCalGas will be required to repair the area once their work is completed."
Ketchell explained that Brentwood residents had repeatedly requested repairs since winter storms caused potholes and cracks on roads. SoCalGas is the largest natural gas distribution utility company in the United States. In the video, a neighbor can be seen rolling down her car window and thanking Schwarzenegger for his actions. He responds, "You have to do it yourself. This is crazy. For three weeks I've been waiting for this hole to be closed."