Westside seeing evidence of citywide utility-pole project

       A Colorado Springs Utilities crew was seen replacing several utility poles on Bott Avenue this week.

Justin Mitchell's Colorado Springs Utilities crew installs a new pole this week on the north side of the 2200 block of Bott Avenue, as part of a 10-year citywide project that's starting this year. Another candidate for replacement was the older (darker) pole just beyond it.
Westside Pioneer photo

       According to Steve Berry of the city enterprise, the work reflects the first year of a 10-year, citywide project by Utilities to replace aging or damaged poles. Inspections of the 40,000 poles in the city began in 2010, with a plan to check 10 percent of them in each of the following 10 years, he said.
       For the current year, 350 poles are being replaced, and others being reinforced. The annual cost of the replacement work will be $800,000, he said.
       While Springs Utilities' electrical network is primarily underground, most of what's above ground is in the older parts of the city, including the Westside. Poles carry electric lines and in some cases (after obtaining a Utilities permit) cable or phone lines.
       For Utilities, “the poles are a big electrical reliability issue,” Berry said.
       On Bott Avenue between 21st and 25th streets, 12 poles were being replaced, a worker said.
       The new poles are easily recognized because they are lighter colored than the old ones. But the wood is the same - western cedar.
       Although some poles are over half a century old and can decay over time, Berry noted that age is not always the reason for replacement. More common problems are wind and weather, getting hit by vehicles or even being chewed on by animals, he pointed out.

Westside Pioneer article