It apparently will take a village—specifically, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Entergy Louisiana and any other power company involved—to potentially remove the old power poles crowding Entergy’s upgraded power system along Highland Road.
Entergy officials say they will inspect the unsightly clusters, most of which are spaced about 20 feet apart along the busy thoroughfare near downtown and the LSU campus, as well as others in the North Boulevard area. Several of pole groupings are near Highland’s intersections with East Harding, West Roosevelt and Alice streets.
When the inspection process will begin is unknown and depends on whether or not other service providers, such as Cox or AT&T, would need to get involved.
“If they are Entergy poles, we will remove them if there is no equipment owned by other service providers attached to the poles,” says Entergy Louisiana spokesman David Freese. “If there is equipment belonging to other service providers on the Entergy poles, we will contact the appropriate company to have them transfer their equipment so the poles can be removed.”
In some cases, two or three poles are clustered together where the power system has been upgraded more than once. Until the companies that installed them are contacted and the issue can be resolved, residents will just have to deal with the tragic aesthetics.
Meanwhile, the Louisiana Public Service Commission is scoping out the areas this morning and awaiting a status report, says Bo Staples, executive assistant to District 2 Commissioner Craig Greene, though he notes many of the areas appear to be in District 3. Staples says it appears some of the clusters include poles that are owned by different utilities.
PSC involvement is necessary, as they’re the agency that regulates Entergy and other electric companies. However, before examining the areas, Staples warns that—at least in some instances—practicality trumps aesthetics.
“One of the poles might be propping the other up as a temporary solution. It might be cheaper for them to do that, even if it’s more unsightly,” he says. “But every now and then we can do something with a cosmetic deal.”
Entergy Louisiana received $16.5 million from city-parish coffers in 2018, accounting for some 3.5% of its total expenditures, according to the Open Checkbook BR website.