2017-02-16 / Front Page

Power poles poised to come down

By Becca Whitnall


TALL ORDER—Work on removing 53 power poles along T.O. Boulevard begins later this month. Most of the work will be done at night. 
RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers TALL ORDER—Work on removing 53 power poles along T.O. Boulevard begins later this month. Most of the work will be done at night. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers Over 50 utility poles lining Thousand Oaks Boulevard will be removed between now and the end of March as crews put the finishing touches on a yearlong construction effort meant to improve the look of the city’s namesake thoroughfare.

“The full-scale pole removal will begin at the end of the month,” said Nader Heydari, capital projects division manager for the City of Thousand Oaks. “We cut them down a bit first, because removing an 80-foot pole is not the easiest thing to do.”

The city is first working with the utility companies to take down the inactive lines, which were replaced last year with underground utilities. The project encompasses a 1.5-mile stretch of the boulevard from Duesenberg Drive to Westlake High School.

Once the lines are down, the 53 poles will come down. Most of the work will be done at night for convenience and safety’s sake, Heydari said.

The project manager anticipates the last pole will be removed in early March. A dedication ceremony to mark job’s completion is planned for Thurs., March 16 at the corner of Westlake and T.O. boulevards

Working with the city, Southern California Edison recently connected and energized the underground electrical system. Heydari praised business owners for their patience during the switch over, which caused contained outages lasting an average of six to eight hours.

“There’ s been a lot of communication with the businesses that had to be switched from the old system to the new system,” he said. “We had to schedule it carefully with the businesses because there were some that had specific needs. Some have food operations, some have sensitive computers.”

Once work on the $15-million undergrounding project is complete, the city plans to come back and spruce up the sidewalk. Undergrounding crews will cover holes created by their work, and a second team will be needed to make it aesthetically pleasing, Heydari said.

After the controversy surrounding the city’s last major infrastructure project—the widening of Erbes Road— the division manager said he’s extremely pleased with how the undergrounding effort has worked out.

“We’re right on track; in fact, we’re a couple of days ahead of schedule,” Heydari, said. “And we’re under budget.”

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