May 292014


A worker inspects a utility pole. (submitted)

The United Illuminating Company began a pole inspection program in April and will fix or replace 140,000 utility poles during the next six years.

The company hired Osmose Utilities Services to check each pole to make sure that all of them have UI lines and equipment, which will help maintain the reliability of customer’s electric service, and to reduce vulnerability during storms and other extreme events.

Inspections began in Hamden, with workers identifying utility poles that need to be fixed, replaced or overhead infrastructure repairs. They are moving west until all the poles in 17 cities and towns in the UI service area have been checked.

John Mitchell, manager of system maintenance at UI said, “Inspectors will visually inspect each pole and the overhead system that connects to it. They’ll also ‘sound’ the pole with hammers to detect rot or hollow pockets caused by insects, and perform simple maintenance tasks, such as re-stenciling pole ID numbers.”

According to Mitchell, older poles often get decay at the ground line. Typically, between 2.5 and 3 percent of poles inspected require replacement.

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