University Drive gets 54 new power poles - East Valley Tribune: News

University Drive gets 54 new power poles

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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 4:01 pm | Updated: 2:47 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Cars snaked along University Drive Friday morning, avoiding the orange pylons of construction projects that extend for miles in north-central Mesa.

A row of 54 power poles and streetlights were installed between Stapley Drive and Extension Road at a cost of nearly $650,000, after the city said microbursts in past years caused a number of the older wooden poles to fall like dominoes.

That project is slated to be completed by next week, with more replacement projects expected in the future, officials said.

The work is part of ongoing construction along University Drive, including an $8.4 million intersection-widening project at Gilbert Road that is expected to be completed by fall.

The project, which started Feb. 17, was given 120 days for completion, ending by no later than mid-June.

Glenn Gorke, an engineering spokesman for the city, said the project was slated to end sooner than expected, and the cost was a bargain.

"They installed 13 steel stopper poles and 41 concrete poles, after removing a total of 54 wooden poles," Gorke said. "It's actually very cheap for all the work that was done."

The poles are located on the north side of University Drive.

Gorke said the impetus in part was weather related. "Several years ago, we had a microburst on University that knocked poles over on University," he said.

The new steel poles are called stoppers because they will prevent a downed pole from bringing down nearby structures connected to power lines, Gorke said.

Ian Satter, a utilities spokesman for the city, said the project could pay dividends in the future.

"With the proper maintenance, these things will last indefinitely," he said. "This will not cause any additional costs to our customers because it was a part of our capital improvements to the system."

The energy resources were rerouted and residents received no delays in service during the monthslong construction project, and the same will go for similar future projects.

"Further down the line, this is something the city will be reviewing," Satter said.An ongoing widening project at the intersection of Gilbert Road and University Drive is expected to be completed by the end of October.

That project will widen the intersection with two through lanes and dual left-turning lanes in each direction, Gorke said.

Cars snaked along University Drive Friday morning avoiding the orange pylons of construction projects that extend for miles in north central Mesa.

A row of 54 street lights were installed between Stapley Drive and Extension Road at a cost of nearly $650,000 after the city said micorbursts in past years caused a number of the older wooden poles to fall like dominoes.

That project is slated to be completed by next week, with more replacement projects expected in the future, officials said.

The work is part of ongoing construction along University Drive, including an $8.4 million intersection widening project at Gilbert Road expected to be completed by the fall.

The street light project, which started Feb. 17, was given 120 days for completion ending by no later than mid-June.

Glenn Gorke, an engineering spokesman for the city, said the project was slated to end sooner than expected, and the cost was a bargain.

“They installed 13 steel stopper poles, and 41 concrete poles after removing a total of 54 wooden poles,” Gorke said. “It’s actually very cheap for all the work that was done.”

The poles are located on the north side of University.

Gorke said, the impetus, in part, was weather related. “Several years ago we had a microburst on University that knocked poles over on University,” he said.

The new steel poles are called stoppers because they will prevent a downed pole from bringing down nearby structures connected to power lines, he said.

Ian Satter, a utilities spokesman for the city, said the project could pay dividends in the future.

“With the proper maintenance, these things will last indefinitely,” he said. “This will not cause any additional costs to our customers because it was a part of our capitol improvements to the system.”

The energy resources were rerouted and residents received no delays in service during the months-long construction project, and the same would go for similar future projects.

“Further down the line, this is something the city will be reviewing,” Sater said.

An ongoing widening project at the intersection of Gilbert Road and University Drive was expected to be completed by the end of October.

That project is widening the intersection with two through lanes and dual left-turning lanes in each direction, Gorke said.

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