SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 22, 2013

Liberty Street poles spark double-pole discussion in Danvers

DANVERS — Verizon’s seemingly routine request to move utility poles in advance of the start of the state reconstruction of the Liberty Street causeway this year provided the opening for Selectman Bill Clark to once again ask a representative of the telecommunications giant why it has failed to address the eyesore of numerous double poles in town.

Joseph Gleason, a contract right-of-way agent for Verizon, came before the board to ask permission that four poles be removed on Liberty Street and that a temporary utility conduit be built over the Porter River. Later, he said, these four poles would be replaced by three poles and the temporary conduit removed.

Gleason said the pole work was needed as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation replaces culverts under Liberty Street. The overhead power lines need to be moved for the safety of the crane operators installing cofferdams for the work.

It would seem that double poles — a new pole set next to an aging or broken one while utilities are moved — and the need to relocate poles in advance of the $7.1 million reconstruction of the Liberty Street causeway would have nothing to do with one another.

However, Clark wanted to hammer home that while Verizon has addressed 100 double poles since he brought the issue up in December 2011, the company has not done enough to address all of them, and it seemed the problem was getting worse. While Clark understood that the Liberty Street project was a state project that would move forward anyway, he said he would vote against Verizon’s request to make a point that the company has to address double poles.

“There are still some double poles on High Street left over from that project,” he said, referring to the recent reconstruction of the intersection at routes 128 and 35.

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