Round Rock residents say leaning utility poles don’t look safe

Some residents have asked if the poles are safe. (Dugan/KXAN)
Some residents have asked if the poles are safe. (Dugan/KXAN)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Driving in Round Rock has certainly become more difficult over the years. Maybe when you’ve been caught in delays you’ve noticed the utility poles that are distinctly leaning to the side at US 79 and Red Bud Lane.

Bryan Powell has lived in Round Rock for eight years. “I’ve noticed the poles for quite a few years and they seem to be leaning more,” he says.

Powell says he has noticed the leaning utility poles at US 79 and Red Bud Lane for several years. “My concern is the storms here — we get some pretty severe storms. If you take one pole down, quite a few would go. They certainly don’t look safe.”

ONCOR officials tell us they are aware of the issue and monitor the site daily. They go on to say that, because of the way the poles are leaning, enough strain has been taken off by the angle and at this point the poles aren’t leaning any further.

The utility says that the weight of the phone cables causes the poles to lean awkwardly where the intersection turns. They say they are working on the issue which is complicated by the fact that there are water, sewer, gas and fiber lines underground at the location. Powell says that because of drainage at the location he feels this could add further damage.

“I think if the ground gets saturated the poles would be weakened,” says Powell.

When constructing utility poles, ONCOR says they look at the weight of the cables when installing to determine if a pole needs to be changed in advance to handle added weight. They say that miscalculations caused the poles to lean. ONCOR engineers hope to have a workable design approved in the next few weeks to either rebuild or replace the leaning poles.

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