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Avista and 811 damage prevention bike sharing safety message
Custom bike to be in Spokane this weekend promoting the importance of calling 811 before starting any project that involves digging

May 16, 2012: The 811 Damage Prevention Bike is rolling into Spokane for an appearance at the May 18 Spokane Shock arena football game and the May 19 Cruzin’ the Falls car show in Riverfront Park and the evening Spokane Lilac Festival Torchlight Parade. Avista and the Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council (IEUCC) have teamed up to bring the unique 811 bike to Spokane at no cost to promote the message of calling 811 for a free locate of underground utility lines two days before starting any project that involves digging.
 
Created by Paul Junior Designs for One Call Concepts, Inc., the construction of the custom 811 bike was featured this year on the popular “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” reality television show on the Discovery Channel. More information on the bike is available at www.facebook.com/811Bike.
The bike is currently on a year-long U.S. tour to bring awareness of calling 811 before starting a project that involves digging. Whether planting a tree or shrub, installing a deck or pool or excavating a construction site, knowing the location of underground utility lines will help protect individuals from injury, prevent damages to utilities and service disruptions, and avoid potential fines and repair costs.
“The 811 Damage Prevention Bike is a fun, unique way to remind our community of the importance of knowing what’s below the ground before starting a large or small project that involves digging. The employees of Avista are delighted to partner with the IEUCC to have the bike in Spokane for this special weekend in our city,” said Jason Thackston, Avista’s vice president of energy delivery.
 
Avista’s goal in 2012 is to reduce the number of dig-ins by 10 percent to increase public safety and reduce costs.In 2011, there were 552 incidents of damages to Avista’s underground natural gas lines from customer or contractor dig-ins. That’s 7.9 dig-ins for every 1,000 locates which is higher than the national average of 3.7. Additional information on 811 is available at www.avistautilities.com
 
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 360,000 customers and natural gas to 321,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million.  Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.
 
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