Given the destruction that the Cayman Islands suffered in Hurricane Ivan I was surprised to see Caribbean Utilities has gone back to using wooden utility poles.
|Yacht Club Round-About|
Particularly when we (their customers) remember paying for the rebuilding of the transmission & distribution network. If wooden poles are again being used, and when we are struck by the next hurricane shall we have to again pay for rebuilding this critical infrastructure?.
Driving by the Yacht Club round-about on the Harquail Bypass Extension it is apparent that CUC has reverted back to the use of less expensive poles.
The reason that all of us living in the Cayman Islands had to pay for this infrastructure after Hurricane Ivan was that it was uninsured. After the Ivan experience I would have expected the Regulatory Authority to have mandated the use of high strength StressCrete concrete utility poles such which were used in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
With historical roots firmly planted in the first decade of the 20th century, spun concrete poles have evolved over the past hundred years to become the pole of choice for an ever-increasing number of specifiers and owners. Spun concrete is more widely used today than ever before because of its many advantages including, inexpensive installation costs, minimal maintenance requirements and universal aesthetic appeal
StressCrete products is a centrifugally cast reinforced concrete pole; commonly referred to as a “Spun Pole”. It combines elegance with durability and surpasses most other materials in economy. It meets the CSA and ASTM standards for spun concrete poles, as well
as our own specifications which are more demanding. The spinning process introduces qualities into the concrete which cannot be obtained by more conventional casting methods. As well, the centrifugal casting process automatically forms a hollow raceway inside the pole thereby providing a smooth conduit for electrical cables. Poles are readily available in a full range of lengths, strengths, colors, finishes and cross-sections for a multitude of uses such as lighting, power distribution, transmission, traffic, traction and communication towers. See http://www.stresscrete.com/stresscrete-products/stresscrete-products.asp
The fact that we have not been hit by another disastrous hurricane is no reason the become complacent. I would go as far as to argue that there should be a program to place more of the CUC network underground. This would be an expensive undertaking but it would be cheaper that rebuilding the network every ten of fifteen years.