Utility pole shift to improve safety



Crews working for Emera Maine have been moving utility poles holding electrical and communication lines back from the edges of Route 3 in Trenton. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Crews working for Emera Maine have been moving utility poles holding electrical and communication lines back from the edges of Route 3 in Trenton.
PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

TRENTON — Traffic safety is enhanced when utility poles are on only one side of the road, according to the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT).

That’s why power company Emera Maine, in cooperation with the DOT, is removing the poles from the east side of a stretch of Route 3 here and transferring utility lines to new poles on the west side.

Last year, nearly two miles of Route 3 were repaved. But power lines remained on both sides of the road between the former Acadia Christian School and the Country Store, about a tenth of a mile south of the Route 204 (Jordan River Road) intersection.

“We try to eliminate a dual-pole line if poles are within the safe area for vehicles to recover if they go off the road,” said Derrick Carleton, the DOT’s utility coordinator. “In this case, some of the poles are two or three feet off the edge of the pavement, which is well below standard. Some of the poles are in very poor condition, as well.”

Carleton said the poles on the west side of the road weren’t tall enough to accommodate all of the lines and still maintain adequate clearances over driveways and side roads.

“So, they are upgrading to taller poles,” he said.

The poles are being moved even farther back from the road at the Route 204 intersection.

“That’s due to the intersection widening project [this spring], adding turn lanes and a traffic signal,” Carleton said. “That will improve the safety of that extremely unsafe intersection. There have been a lot of accidents there.”

Lane Construction is the contractor for the intersection improvement project.

Brian Keezer, the DOT project manger for the intersection work, said the timetable depends on the weather.

“They will likely start as soon as the snow has melted and they are able to get their equipment out there,” he said. “Hopefully by mid-April.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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