Ledger Inquirer: More utility poles posing problems

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 16, 2014 

MIKE OWEN/mowen@ledger-enquirer.comThis cracked utility pole has been an eyesore in this neighborhood for years.

We're back to working on poles this week. And I don't mean dancing, for which I'm sure you are thankful.

A Concerned Reader named James called to say he and his Bradshaw Drive neighbors are tired of looking at an old broken utility pole in their neighborhood that has been an eyesore for almost a decade.

A new pole has been installed and almost all of the utilities have been transferred to it. But a lone utility (James says it's a cable TV line) remains connected to the remains of the old pole, which has been tied off to the new pole with wire. Still, it's leaning precariously and has sharp wooden spikes from the crack facing the sidewalk.

And it's ugly.

"I remember when the young lady hit that pole," James said. "It must have been eight or nine years ago."

Whoever hit it did so hard enough to crack it and to send a few pieces of her car into James' yard.

"It looks like they've just forgotten about it," he said.

The new utility pole belongs to Georgia Power, which can be determined by the football-shaped metal tag nailed onto it. The old pole has a rectangular tag, which means it's an AT&T pole.

All of the utilities have been moved to the new pole, except one, the lowest one, which I've always been told was the telephone line.

As I've learned from previous Inquirers on this topic, each utility has to move its own lines. AT&T can't move a cable company's lines and you can bet nobody's going to be dumb enough to mess around with Georgia Power's lines. That's a good way to wake up dead.

The Inquirer has two resident Utility Pole Consultants on retainer -- Robert Watkins, who works for Georgia Power, and Terry Smith, with AT&T.

This being an AT&T problem, Terry's the winner this week.

He took the address and said he'd check into it. Case closed. That's a wrap. Miller time, right?

Not so fast. Smith called me back and said it might have been an AT&T pole, but that's a cable TV line, not a phone line. The phone lines in that neighborhood are underground, he said.

Since there's no way to tell by looking at which cable company owns the line, Smith suggested finding out which cable companies serve the area and contact them.

Great. I'll be swinging around cable company phone trees like a monkey next week. Still, that's better than pole dancing.

Stay tuned.


While we had Smith on the phone, I decided to check up on an earlier Inquirer up on the other end of town. Back in late October 2013, we wrote about a cracked and rickety utility pole out on Veterans Parkway, just south of The Clinic Formerly Known As Hughston.

The problem pole had been a problem for about five years, said Concerned Artist Maria, whose studio is in its cracked, leaning shadow.

AT&T assured me then that they were going to replace not only that pole, but also a couple of more in the area that were showing their years, but I got an email from Maria recently saying nothing had been done.

WTH? (I've been told not to use that other WT expression in this venerable, family-oriented publication. Not that I would.)

Smith checked on that and said the engineering work had been done, as had the coordinating with other utilities (including cable, I hope) and the work is ready to be scheduled.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com, or snail-mail me at 17 West 12th Street, Columbus, GA, 31901.

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