When I say these things are big it’s no joke. The base can be up to 10 feet wide and the foundation needed to hold up these behemoths is imbedded up to 25 feet in the ground.
These monster poles are needed because of the dictates of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requiring certain clearances since existing utilities such as the 15,000 to 25,000 volt lines that Sawnee EMC uses to distribute electricity to homes and businesses as well as cable TV, telephone and fiber optics along the Peachtree Parkway/Ronald Reagan Route will be attached to the new poles below the main transmission lines. This allows the older utility poles now in use to be removed.
When completed later this year, the new utility poles will cover 6½ miles and will cost around $28 million for the towers, the new Pinecrest Substation near Sharon road and other associated construction projects. Heighton says the project should ensure that residents of Cumming and Forsyth County have a reliable and adequate supply of electricity for the next 70 years or so.
One pleasant surprise is that according to Heighton, the cost is already built into the rate structure and Sawnee customers won’t get the unpleasant jolt of a bigger bill.
Heighton says although delivering electricity to people is a very complex undertaking, they have a simple responsibility, “making sure that when people flip the switch the lights will come on.”