Light poles to undergo replacement, upgrade to new look

Suzi Starheim

Commute through downtown Kent may be slower as new concrete foundations are being drilled for street light pole replacement along Haymaker Parkway this month.

Kent senior engineer Jon Giaquinto said drilling of foundations will continue through the end of the month and the entire project will be finished this December.

The project was deemed necessary in 2007 through a routine inspection because of corroding anchor bolts, which are four bolts holding the poles in the ground.

The poles being replaced are between Longmere Drive and Willow Street.

Paying for the project

The contract for the project was awarded to Perram Electric on May 26, and replacements began Aug. 30.

Although the project was originally set to be done over a three-year time period, from 2008 to 2010, Giaquinto said they chose to save the entire project for now.

The total budget is $882,000, with $106,555 from a

Community Development Block Grant. The rest of the funding for the

project came from the city, Giaquinto said.

“We basically saved our money for two years and then spent it in the

third year,” he added.

While the project is a large sum, Kent Superintendent of Engineering Jim Bowling said the project is necessary.

“This is a maintenance responsibility for the city to upkeep,” Bowling

said. “When things get old, we have to replace them.”

Bowling said the project will affect traffic a little at a time. The outside lanes will be closed off when they are working on certain sections of the project. Each night, the road will be opened back up to its full number of lanes, Bowling added.

Making the poles more appealing

The total number of poles being replaced is approximately 75,

Giaquinto said. Each of these poles will be replaced with a 40-foot gray and galvanized pole. Beginning along Haymaker bridge and east, the poles will be painted black for appearance.

Along with making the poles better looking, the chain-link fence on

Haymaker bridge will also be torn down and rebuilt, said


The current fence is very tall and has a curved top to prevent people

from throwing anything over the bridge into the river.

“With the fencing, we also decided that the institutional gray chain

link isn’t what we wanted to be represented by,” Bowling said.

The new fence will be a coated black fence with a 3-by-1 inch

horizontal grid, which Bowling said will look much nicer.

Contact Suzi Starheim at [email protected].