Why you’re seeing old, snapped utility poles tied to new, sturdy ones

Why you’re seeing old, snapped utility poles tied to new, sturdy ones

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You may have seen them across Charlotte. A utility pole breaks, and someone comes out, straps it to a sturdy new pole.

The old, busted one is left behind - secured to the new one by a rope or cord.

“It’s interesting,” Jason Murphy says, laughing.

Murphy assumed it was some sort of amateur fix - wires and ropes keeping the cracked and crooked poles from toppling into traffic.

“A nonprofessional must’ve been messing around, threw some rope up there,” he thought at first. “So I kind of looked a little closer, like, no, this was actually done by someone intentionally.”

As a local house-flipper, Murphy has made his way around town.

“They’ve been on multiple sites, and I’m starting to wonder, what’s going on with them,” he says.

He hasn’t been able to get a clear view of who’s at fault – and there may not be one.

Duke Energy tells WBTV after a pole breaks, they send out a crew to repair their own wires, sticking them onto a new pole. But legally, they can’t mess with other companies’ utilities. So, they keep those on the old one – and strap that old pole onto the side of their sturdy new one.

“These are historic neighborhoods,” Murphy says. “They’re very strict about the guidelines and what you do to the house, the neighborhood and the street and everything, and then you look at something like that and wonder, how does something like that sit there for who knows how long.”

It’s hard to know how long the poles sit like this, but a Google street view shows that at Murphy’s latest project in Wilmore, an old busted pole has sat crookedly strapped to a new one for at least a year.

“There could be some sort of short, danger, the pole could fall,” he says.

Not to mention, it’s not a good look for potential buyers.

“It definitely is something you see when you pull right up, and you wonder, the neglect going on, is there a problem with the house, is there a problem with the electrical?”

Duke said Thursday, this is a growing pain, so to speak, of the expanding infrastructure in Charlotte. Cars are striking poles and snapping them, often.

A representative also said they would have crews come take a look at the spots we told them about Wednesday, to make sure they’re all safe.

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