Pole Inspection and Replacement Program Continues at Ohio Edison to Enhance Service Reliability

Pole Inspection

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 1, 2017 -- To help enhance the reliability of its system, Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility, will replace or repair more than 1,700 wooden utility poles this year as part of the company's annual inspection program.  The poles would stretch about 13 miles if laid end to end. 

Overall, Ohio Edison will inspect 57,000 of its 561,000 wooden poles in 2017 for signs of wear, insect infestation or damage from motor vehicle accidents, with a budgeted cost of approximately $4.5 million. 

"Poles are vital to the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses in our service area," said Kevin Sestak, vice president of Operations, Ohio Edison.  "Utility poles are in the elements 365 days a year and subject to damage from severe weather, falling trees and traffic accidents.  Over time, some poles need to be replaced to help maintain our system's safety, reliability and resiliency."

Typically, specialized contractors perform the pole inspections.  As part of the process, a visual inspection is completed, along with inspecting the pole to determine if the interior is sound.  Some poles can be reinforced rather than replaced.  One of the most common reinforcement techniques is to snug a C-shaped steel beam against the pole, jackhammer the beam into the ground, and secure it to the pole with tight, metal bands. 

All wooden poles throughout the 34-county Ohio Edison territory are inspected on a 10-year cycle.  The inspections began in January and continue throughout the year, with pole replacements and repairs scheduled to be completed during the fall.

Year-to-date, more than 45,000 wooden poles have been inspected in the Youngstown/Warren, Mansfield/Marion, Springfield, Sandusky/Norwalk and Lorain/Elyria areas.  The remaining poles to be inspected include:

  • Akron – 4,800
  • Kent/Macedonia – 5,300
  • Massillon – 1,600
  • Medina – 235

Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioEdison.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.  Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note:  Photos of FirstEnergy's pole inspection and repair process are available for download on Flickr.

CONTACT: Mark Durbin, (330) 761-4365

Last Modified: November 1, 2017