Suppliers struggle to keep up with utility pole demand

Nov 10, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, replacement utility poles are transported along Old Country Road in Plainview, N.Y. / Bruce Bennett, Getty Images One of the challenges in restoring power to the millions who were left in the dark following Hurricane Sandy has been more than impassable roads or contracting enough work crews.

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1 - 3 of 3 Comments Last updated Nov 11, 2012
Steve

Nutley, NJ

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#1
Nov 11, 2012
 
Put the wires underground at any cost. No need for ugly dangerous poles!!!! Spend more cash now and save later. Foresight!!!
carpetbaggers

Bryn Mawr, PA

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#2
Nov 11, 2012
 
Steve wrote:
Put the wires underground at any cost. No need for ugly dangerous poles!!!! Spend more cash now and save later. Foresight!!!
They've done studies on underground utilities and found out that not only does is cost more to place cable in the underground they discovered underground problems take 1 1/2 times longer to fix, more difficult to fix, more money to fix and after the 20 year mark aireal plant has less problems than underground plant.

http://www.woodpoles.org/documents/TechBullet... pages 6-7 for underground

If a pole and wires get wet in the air they can air out/drip dry. If something gets wet in the underground there is no where for moisture/water to go. You need to do manhole sets ups and unseal cases just to run tests. Aireal plant is open access.

It would be good if they could put larger portions of their plant in the underground especially the main feeds where nothing branches off. They make submersable cables so it is possible near the coast but the salt water might have too much of a corrosive effect on underground plant.

For now the cheapest way to reinforce the poles is more guy wires and reinforcement of critical poles especially poles with multiple utilities on them and/or poles with cables that go in multiple directions. The poles with cables going in 4 directions have to be a time killer to replace. I've seen them take 14 hours to replace a pole after an auto accident and I think one reason why was that the cables went in 4 directions, it was a corner pole.

Some ways to reinforce a pole

http://www.osmoseutilities.com/content/pages/... -watch video

http://www.utilityproducts.com/articles/print...

They need to change & improve the way they do things because it seems like they are doing nothing but swapping old for new doing nothing different.
carpetbaggers

Bryn Mawr, PA

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#3
Nov 11, 2012
 
The point is moot right now but how many of these damaged poles are the local phone company's or town's. I hope they at least bill the owner of the pole for replacement. Utility poles tend to be shared.

Most utilities have agreements on sharing pole/ rental and maintenance. I would be curious to know how many of these poles are not the power company's.

Is is the local phone company or town that didn't do tree trimming or pole inspeciton/replacements?

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