Selectmen Monday heard a petition from Verizon and the Concord Municipal Light Plant to relocate two poles at Flint’s Bridge on Monument Street, a move necessary for the MassHighway project to repair the bridge.
Two existing jointly owned poles would be removed and two new jointly owned poles 50 feet in height would be placed on the east side of Monument Street — about 690 and 955 feet south of the centerline of Liberty Street, respectively.
“This is an appropriate time,” said Toby Kramer, a Monument Street resident, for the town to force companies to move utilities underground in this “historic … very sensitive area.”
Kramer, who said the proposal would put a pole directly in front of her house, said the overhead wires are aesthetically displeasing and complicated the extraction of an SUV from the Concord River last year. “I would not be happy to hear Verizon gets to once again move poles,” without any guarantee they would move the utilities from the North Bridge to Liberty Street underground at the completion of construction,” she said.
But Town Manager Chris Whelan said the town cannot compel Verizon to put the utilities underground if the town is not doing so.
“They have an extensive schedule, and I do not know when Monument is on the schedule,” Whelan said.
He did, however, say that the utilities now strung over the bridge should be pulled through the conduit that is presumably included in the improvement project.
“We have been planning this bridge for 10 years,” Whelan said, “It would be appalling for it not to include conduit.”
The board recommended approval on the condition that, at the end of construction, all utilities over the bridge shall be moved underground and pulled through the conduit presumably installed during construction, and that the 50-foot poles will be reduced in size to 35 feet after construction.