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Large-scale OH Utility Removal

By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Removing Overhead Utilities

Today is December 1 and that has always been a special day for me as it is my father’ birthday. He is 88. Forty-one of those years was spent as an engineer for the telephone company. A lot of what he worked on was overhead “plant” as he called it–the wires and poles that line streets, highways and country roads.Removing overhead wires on Commerce St.

All urban places these days want to remove those poles and wires that is now large fat cables or nested small fiber optic cables. That can be done but as usual the only way is with a lot of money.

The first question though is where to move it.

The easiest location from the standpoint of reconnecting to where the line serves-all along its route-is to bury it below where it is overhead. That is usually the most expensive as burying an overhead utility line is very expensive for communications and very very expensive for electrical distribution lines.

A good alternative is to relocate the poles and lines to behind the property that fronts the street. Many subdivisions are built that was with the poles and line along the back property line between the two rows of houses facing adjacent streets. The same arrangement can be created to move the poles off the street but the properties behind the commercial properties are usually not very happy with that solution.

You also have to pay to relocate the communications cables-typically fiber optics-that are in many locations. They are owned by different companies from whoever owns the poles. The Telecommunications Act of 1994 gives them the right to install their distribution cables on the poles and you will have to pay to bury or relocate them.

Yes, removing overhead power lines from the streetscape is an involved and expensive process.

Look for more articles on this topic soon.

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1 Comments to “Large-scale OH Utility Removal”


  1. Keep up the good work.

    1


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