BC Hydro crews had to move a power pole that would otherwise have interfered with a travel lane that’s part of the District’s ongoing 9th St. improvement project. (Houston Today photo)

BC Hydro crews had to move a power pole that would otherwise have interfered with a travel lane that’s part of the District’s ongoing 9th St. improvement project. (Houston Today photo)

District to pay for moving power pole, services

Part of the 9th Street project

The District of Houston is having to shoulder the costs of moving a power pole and three electrical services components as they would otherwise interfere with a travel lane on 9th Street.

It’s work that was part of the larger project to put utility lines underground on Hwy16 from the Buck Creek Bridge to Butler Ave. with BC Hydro providing a grant from a beautification program to cover some of that cost.

That larger project was to have taken place this year but Council shelved it when costs came in at more than what was budgeted.

“Unfortunately, BC Hydro will not be sharing in these costs,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck of moving the pole and services.

“The District’s beautification grant was only for the full scope of [undergrounding] work, and cannot be applied to this scope,” he added.

Moving the pole and the three electrical services components, one of which will be underground, is pegged to cost $101,390.23, Pinchbeck added.

Council authorization was needed as it exceeded the $100,000 limit provided to staffers before they would have had to refer to council for approval.

Council is to revisit the project to put utility lines underground on Hwy16 next year. It’ll be asking BC Hydro to carry over the beautification grant approved this year so that it can be used next year.

Along with a new sidewalk, the Hwy16 work forms part of the District’s longterm vision to improve and beautify infrastructure within the downtown core.