After a week of being open First Energy crews pulled a utility pole Friday from the left lane of south-bound Sawmill Parkway. That lane has been barricaded, narrowing the two-lane road to a single lane since its opening last week.
“The pole is scheduled to be removed today, Nov. 18, and the county’s paving contractor will complete the asphalt paving at the pole location next week,” said Rob Riley, deputy chief engineer. “Basically we needed them to remove it and they’re getting around to it now.”
Riley said there was no reason to hold up opening Sawmill Parkway just to wait for First Energy to remove the pole. Concrete barriers and orange barrels blocked the left lane of the south bound Sawmill Parkway between U.S. 42 and Bunty Station Road, narrowing the road to a single lane until the removal.
No reason for the delay in removing the pole was offered to the county engineer’s office. “We were never given an explanation why it has taken so long,” Riley said.
Friday afternoon Mark Durbin, First energy spokesperson, said it took a little time to coordinate with the county to move the pole. “The pole has been moved,” he said. “We had to set a couple poles across the road and it appears that our work is now done.”
During the construction phase of the project the engineer’s office had reported to county commissioners the issues in relocating utilities.
During an August commissioners meeting County Engineer Chris Bauserman gave county commissioners a progress report.
“There are some factors out there beyond our control in the name of relocation of some utilities,” he said. “I understand that utility relocation is a problem all around Ohio right now. There’s just not enough manpower to do everything that needs to be done.”
Delaware County and city of Delaware officials on Nov. 10 opened the much anticipated four-lane Sawmill Parkway that now connects U.S. 42 to I-270 giving motorists an additional route into Delaware.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.