Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

ATT Overhead Cable Removal

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

This pRemoving ATT cables and poles after placing cables in underground conduit.ost is to relate the process we went through to remove ATT’s cable draped between short poles from the sidewalk. If you are considering a similar improvement be warned that ATT is only one of the communication companies that often have cables on poles. Removal of each cable will take you through a similar process but each company will have its own quirks.

The process for the relocation on Crawford Street from Preston to Commerce (map) was as follows.

  1. Consulted with SBC’s–now ATT–engineering department to determine the underground conduit needed and the ATT cost to remove the overhead and install the underground system. This investigation addressed changes to the cable connection to the buildings that then being accessed by a drop from the pole. The new access route had to cross private property underground and come up at the building to the original junction box on the side of the building.
  2. As we would have a contractor rebuilding Crawford St. we could include the placement of the underground conduit in that scope and save on pavement removal and replacement. The cost for installation of the conduit was estimated to place it to ATT’s standards.  NOTE – Be sure to ask about any standards the utility company may have so your cost includes meeting those requirements and you are not surprised later. You will also find that electrical utilities like CenterPoint in Houston also has a list of approved contractors to install their facilities. You will have to use one of them or hope your contractor can become approved. The solution is often to have your prime contractor sub the work to someone on the utility’s approved list.
  3. After adding up ATT’s cost plus the cost for the District’s contractor conduit placement we found supplementing the original project’s budget with other funds made the removal of the overhead cable and poles feasible.
  4. The installation of the conduit was added to the street construction contract and ATT was paid in advance–a typical requirement with utilities–and eventually the cables and poles disappeared and the sidewalk was repaired.
  5. The above relatively short four steps is in no way an accurate reflection of the time and effort it will take to see the process to the end. But it is worth it.

This was a project of the Houston Downtown Management District.


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