BC Hydro replacing Cranbrook poles this summer

Some of Cranbrook's groves of power poles is reaching the end of its natural 40-50 year lifespan

  • May. 30, 2014 1:00 p.m.

A part of Cranbrook’s other urban forest — its groves and groves of power poles — is reaching the end of its natural 40-50 year lifespan and will be up for replacement this coming summer.

B.C. Hydro has advised Cranbrook residents that crews around town will be replacing the local poles as part of an ongoing maintenance program that will see 10,000 replaced province-wide.

“BC Hydro maintains 900,000 wooden poles as part of its electricity distribution system that delivers power to homes and businesses throughout the province,” the utility said in a press release. “More than 20 per cent of BC Hydro’s wooden poles have been in service for more than 40 years.”

In total, BC Hydro’s system includes 56,000 kilometres of distribution lines.

Over time, wooden poles weaken due to the effects of weather, insects and wildlife. BC Hydro regularly inspects the old poles to determine their strength, and once they reach their end-of-life, the utility installs new poles to improve the safety and reliability of the electrical system. The lifespan of a power pole is 40 to 50 years on average.

Pole replacement may require BC Hydro or its contractors to disconnect power. Crews take special care to avoid any unnecessary impacts to customers. However, if these maintenance outages need to be scheduled for safety reasons, BC Hydro or its contractors will let customers know in-person, or by mail or phone.