Neighborhood concerned about rotting utility pole


by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 30 at 5:53 AM

Utilities and Telecommunication companies own thousands of derelict and double poles.  Some look rotten.  Others it seems don't have a leg to stand on.  Scott Ference has one in his Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“It’s unnerving the thought that it could come crashing down on a car or a house or a kid,” explained Ference.

Ference says he complained to Seattle City Light about the pole a month ago.  It’s atop a stack of smaller blocks that seem to resemble the popular game Jenga.

“There's a number of them there that are just hanging on.  It looks like you can take your hand and jiggle them loose,” said Ference.

Scott Thomsen with Seattle City Light says the Jenga pole is safe because it’s being steadied by a newer pole next to it.

“That's standard practice as to how you address a pole,” explained Thomsen.

Thomsen says there are 6,000 double poles in its service territory.  It will take until 2019 to clear up the backlog. One reason is because more than 120 companies have their equipment on the poles making coordination tricky.

“The process for replacement involves the transfer of not only Seattle City Light's electrical lines but also any communications lines that maybe on the lower sections of that pole,” explained Thomsen.  “Until we can get the companies that own those lines to transfer over their equipment and remove the pole we'll have these double pole situations.”

After I contacted City Light crews moved in and removed the Jenga pole.

If you are concerned about a pole contact Seattle City Light but be prepared to wait.  If you think the situation is reaching Jenga proportions, give me a call.

You can also call the city at (206) 684-POLE (7653) or email