At first glance on Monday afternoon it was only bucket truck art in the sky on Pine Street across from the Speedburger, but a closer look revealed crews working with a hot 46,000-volt line and a rotted 72-yea-old service pole top being replaced.
“We had to string live because the plant (QSR) did not want to lose production,” said Kevin Dean of Pike Electrical Contractors. Topping the old post only took three trucks but replacing the top “overhead static ground wire that had rusted was done one section at a time, requiring five trucks and 11 crew members.
Dean added, “each crew member has a specific task and works individually to keep from being distracted for safety.” The project was choreographed in great detail.
Handling 46,000 volts gets one’s attention but the discovery of a hollow 72-year-old service pole carrying 46,000 volts on a public street raises the stakes even more.
“We call them woodpecker holes because the birds peck a home to raise their young and some may return,” informed Dean. The hole just looked like a hole in a tree but it was deep enough a crew member could put his arm in all the way to his shoulder.
Georgia Power tags their poles upon installation and the tag on this pole was dated 1951. One could tell the pole had been core tested at the base over years.
Businesses and customers at the Diesel Shop and Tom Phillips Oil can rest easy because the lines are secure on a new concrete power pole for maybe 100 years?
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