Light Poles: More than Just Holding a Light

Light Poles are a crucial part of our lives lighting up our roads, parking lots and walkways; but they rust, fall down, get hit, blown over, and forgotten about.

Light Poles provide light for our streets, parking lots, sports parks, walk ways, and children. A light pole is something that most people take for granted and maintenance personnel often do not regularly check.
This is the first post in a series, focusing on light poles.

It sounds simple and uneventful, but I challenge you to read some of the up coming posts and they will make you look at light poles every time you walk through a parking lot. We will cover a range of topics, from how light poles are made, how they are installed, and how they get destroyed. Here is a small sample of some of the topics.

A light pole is just a light pole, Right?

Nope, there are numerous styles of light poles. Concrete, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or plastic. They can be round, square, tapered, octagonal, hexagonal, or fluted. They can be extruded, cast, poured, wrapped, cold rolled, welded, or stamped.

Lets look at a concrete, street light pole. They are constructed of concrete, steel cable, and steel tie wire. The cables are stretched the length of the pole. The tie wire is wrapped around the cable, then concrete is poured into the mold. The cables are stretched and tightened to add strength.

A concrete 20′ street light pole was hit on the side of the road. When hit, the concrete exploded. The pole came down on the Lincoln, poles always find the only car around, caving in the roof and preventing the doors from opening. Luckily, no one was in the car. But if they were, the fire department would need to come, and maybe even need to wait for a crane to come and pick the pole up off the car.

Light poles rust and fall in the middle of a crowded parking lot. When they are installed, contractors pack dry concrete, “dry pack”, under the base of the pole to help support the weight. This traps water in the pole, causing it to rust and fall. Always finding the most expensive car, and fall on that one.

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