Utility planning to move Lowell Road telephone pole

A telephone pole that has generated safety concerns at the former construction site along Lowell Road is scheduled to be moved further away from traffic today.

But there are no guarantees that another delay won’t happen if linemen are unexpectedly called to an emergency situation, Bartholomew County highway engineer Danny Hollander said.

The pole, located west of Interstate 65 where two sharp curves were made less dangerous earlier this year, has remained conspicuously close to Lowell Road since construction ended the first week of August.

That has prompted a number of people to express safety concerns, Hollander said.

But since the pole is owned and maintained by AT&T, local government agencies don’t have the authority to move it, Hollander said.

Linemen plan to eventually bury the lines, but Hollander said he was informed by AT&T lead engineer Troy Bishop the shipping of the replacement lines from the manufacturer has been delayed.

So the decision was made to move the pole further away from the road today as AT&T continues to await the arrival of the replacement lines, Hollander said.

The pole is actually further away from the road than it was before construction began in April, Hollander said. But since traffic had previously been slowed down to 20 miles per hour, it did not generate public concern, he said.

Now that the speed limit has been increased to 40 mph, “it just seems closer,” Hollander said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.