Power poles seem to be tipping precariously towards traffic on a portion of 67th Street — but motorists needn’t worry, said a City of Red Deer’s manager.
The poles have purposely been angled towards the road— and then secured — as the first stage of a power line replacement project that’s underway on 67th Street, said Jim Jorgensen, utilities manager for the city.
The six-month upgrade is expected to run to December and cost $1.2 million.
The power poles running along the Catholic Cemetery on the north side of 67th Street have been leaned towards traffic to allow for new posts to eventually be installed immediately beside them. This will allow enough space at the top for the cross-arms of the new poles, said Jorgensen.
Once new wooden power lines have been secured into the ground, then the wires at the top will be transferred from the old cross-arms to the new ones, he added, and the old leaning poles will be removed.
Jorgensen said aging wooden posts have stood along on 67th Street since the late 1970s, so are due for replacement between 52nd Avenue and Taylor Drive. The project is planned in several stages, with each stage taking four to six weeks.
While the city has opted to bury some power lines in other parts of the city, Jorgensen said this isn’t always feasible because of the expense and because various obstacles could make it a challenge.
“We have looked at it, but it’s a matter of cost and practicability.”
Replacing the power poles with other wooden poles seemed the best option on 67th Street, he added.
Red Deer motorists have been informed about sporadic temporary lane closures between 52nd Avenue and Taylor Drive to the end of the year.
As electric, light and power workers rebuild the power lines, the westbound curb lane will be closed between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday to Fridays until about mid-December.