|The Leaning Poles of Ashwaubenon|
|Take a drive through an Industrial Park, such as the one on the east side of Green Bay.
As you tool along, you may, or may not, notice the streetlight poles. If you do, you'll further see that each one has a poured concrete footing in the ground, and the pole is mounted on 4 bolts protruding from the concrete. Many private sector parking lot lights and signs are installed this same way. Nothing new, been around for decades.
Another thing you'll notice about the streetlight poles is that each and every one is perfectly plumb, meaning straight up and down. Looks real professional. It gives the feeling of quality, and perhaps the businesses located there are building their widgets or whatever to that same standard.
It probably took months to install all those lights. Had to pour the concrete, wait for it to set. Then stand up the poles, adjusting each of the nuts to make sure the pole is nice and straight. Then hook up all the wiring. But it looks nice.
Now take a drive through the Ashwaubenon Industrial Park. You'll probably notice the light poles there. I saw hundreds of these get installed in a matter of a few weeks. They "got 'r done" to say the least. The poles themselves are some new-fangled black fiberglass jobbies. And there is no concrete base, just drill a hole 'n' stick 'em in the ground. Just like I used some shortcuts in that last sentence, so did they. But theirs show a lot more!
Every other one is leaning this way or that way. They did go back and fix the worst ones, but unfortunately there are no nuts to adjust, and fixing a crooked one is a big job. So I guess it's good enough the way it is. If I were to start up a multi-million dollar business, I doubt that I would locate it there!
I've seen these same poles go up in other areas, and they look fine. Well that is, as fine as a black pole with a "decorative" black 'shoebox' light fixture can look. In that same municipality, near Lambeau Field, they 'renovated' the power and light poles, putting in all black ones. While the old wooden poles with their gray cobrahead streetlights sort of hid in the background, the new stuff sticks out like a sore thumb. The power poles are about twice as big around as the old ones. Then they put in all separate poles for the streetlights. Plus some shorter black poles between them with lanterns. Looks great, if it's supposed to be a prison fence! Hey, at least they're straight.
Then to put the icing on the cake. When Christmas time rolled around, it was discovered that the fancy new light poles could not handle the weight of Christmas decorations, which were never a problem on the old poles. They called it an "engineering blunder", without ever saying who blundered. Christmas decorations are going out of style anyway, right? They could offend someone.
A similar 'blunder' happened in the Howard area also, but was somehow swept under the rug. Many of the black poles went in there, crooked and all. A short time later, I saw them replacing every other one with a new, slightly larger one. And by golly, those are the ones that get the Christmas decorations. But I'm sure the taxpayers didn't pay a penny for this! (You didn't hear that from me though, ok?)
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