United Demolition & Excavating was doing site-preparation work on an industrial site owned by Harsco Corp. when the first rupture occurred Sunday. Crews repairing that break later discovered a separate tear in the main line. They completed a bypass of the damaged section on Wednesday, and city officials said Thursday the system was functioning properly.
Thousands of state employees whose jobs were deemed nonessential were given the day off or sent home early during the shutdown and put in their first full day of work for the week on Thursday. Gov. Corbett has said it was impossible to calculate the cost of the lost work time.
A man who answered the phone at United's Clarence, N.Y., headquarters Friday said the pipes had been damaged by beavers but would not identify himself and hung up twice on a reporter seeking information about the incident.
A Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman called the suggestion ludicrous. Beavers are vegetarians that eat tree bark and leaves, the spokesman, Jerry Feaser, said Friday.
William Kiger, president of Pennsylvania One Call System Inc., told the newspaper that failure to use the system violates state law, and prevents utilities and the city from identifying any active underground lines before the contractor began doing site-preparation work. Harsco plans to use the 21-acre site as a depot for heavy construction equipment.
In a statement Thursday night, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said the city had filed a preliminary claim with its insurer and notified Harsco that the city might seek damages from the company. Harsco declined to comment.
"The investigations are going to get to the bottom of this," company spokesman Ken Julian told the newspaper.