Utility-pole removal still a work in progress

info@islandpacket.comJuly 15, 2013 

Last April, "Beautify Beaufort" submitted a petition to the city of Beaufort signed by 245 residents of the National Landmark Historic District. It encouraged the city to meet with SCE&G, Hargray, Charter and Century Link to explore means by which redundant cable and telephone poles could be removed from our neighborhoods. These are an eyesore to our valuable streetscapes.

We were instructed to identify these by location and indicate whether the pole was empty or needed cables transferred. This was a tedious task. We identified 113 duplicate poles and noted the empty ones.

SCE&G, which placed the new poles, agreed to remove the old poles as soon as all cables had been transferred. To date, it has removed 28. Hargray, which purchased Charter, has advised that it has moved all of its cables, plus 66,745 feet of redundant cable. Century Link has moved 18.

Century Link, whose cables are more complicated to move, is bogged down by logistical complications. SCE&G's new pole is often erected in such a manner that it is very costly to transfer some lines. Cars parked throughout neighborhoods make it impossible for service trucks to get to the pole. The S.C. Department of Transportation has to be consulted if the service truck might impede traffic flow.

Slow but steady progress is being made, and we encourage these companies to continue being diligent in their efforts to get this initiative completed. We, their customers, request this for the sake of our historic district.

Paul J. Michau

Beaufort

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