An August 2010 car vs. pole crash at E Marion and 23rd Ave has City Light again searching for electrified utility poles across the city. After an expensive winter searching for and repairing Seattle light poles with leaking voltage — including these five found in the Central District — City Light has a new problem on its hands related to the procedures used to repair and replace utility poles. Below is the announcement from City Light including details of the electrified pole found along 23rd:
A metal streetlight pole that was replaced in January of this year was found to have voltage late last week. A dog detected the voltage when it sniffed the pole. A woman, who isn’t a resident of the area, was walking her dog on April 4 when the incident occurred. She reported it to City Light on April 5 using the online streetlight repair reporting feature.
City Light sent a crew to troubleshoot and correct the problem to ensure that the streetlight was working properly. The cause of the voltage situation was improper installation when the pole was replaced in January resulting in frayed insulation where the service wire enters the lamp head.
The pole originally was damaged in August of 2010 when a car hit it. The pole was removed at that time. Crews replaced the pole in early January and found that the underground service that provides power to the pole also had been damaged. As a result, temporary overhead service was used to energize the streetlight when the pole was installed in January.
As a precaution, City Light is testing and inspecting approximately 60 metal streetlight poles that were damaged and replaced within the past year. Some of these poles were not in place when City Light did its comprehensive voltage testing in late December and early January. City Light is checking to make sure that these poles are properly installed.
City Light urges the public that if they suspect voltage at any metal streetlight pole or associated metal fixture that they report the incident immediately by telephone to the Streetlight Hotline (206) 684-7056.