MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - Recently, manhole covers have been disappearing from neighborhood streets in Mobile County, putting drivers and many more in danger. Officials are working to outsmart the crooks by replacing them with something other than steel.
Mobile City Public Works leaders said they're replacing more than 200 stolen manhole covers with a concrete product.
City leaders reported thieves stole the covers between November 2010 and February 2011. More covers went missing over the weekend.
"The Crichton and Toulminville communities is where we are seeing the biggest problem as of recently," said Public Works supervisor John Windley.
The covers are made of steel. However, due to the recent spike in thefts, the public works department is now replacing the stolen covers with ones made of concrete.
"The new ones are not as valuable as the old ones made of steel," said Windley.
However, there is one drawback.
The concrete covers are not as durable as the cast iron ones. But Windley said the rectangular blocks are good enough for now.
Leaders said thieves are also stealing the round manhole covers. So crews are also making a concrete frame for those types as well.
Public Works leaders said some locations will get the old cast iron covers. That's because some drains require a sturdier frame.
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