Arlington As last summer waned, Arlington residents of an area straddling 8th Street, South were left wondering. Frames were in place for a concrete pour of new curbs and gutters and a replacement roadway. Oddly, a utility pole stood in the middle of a soon-to-be sidewalk at the Walter Reed Drive end of construction.
The builders are finished. Their equipment is gone. The pole remains, solidly set as if to barricade the freshly laid sidewalk Neighbors remain befuddled. When the builders and power company were questioned, one small piece of concrete was cut away to ease passage, somewhat.
An explanation was provided by a spokesperson for Dominion Virginia Power. The construction contract touched upon interests of six different parties: The county, owner of the street; the construction company hired by the cCounty; Dominion, which owns the pole; a telephone company and two cable networks which hung wires on the pole, and the adjacent homeowner with trees and landscaping that will not escape impact no matter where a pole might be placed. Coordinating all those parties to move pole and wires was, and is, the hard part.
The other factor was expense. It cost less to build all the frames for several blocks and pour all the concrete at once, than to ignore the pole and return at a later date both to
install framing and to order trucks back with concrete. The former choice simply meant deferring relocation of the pole and easily patching the small hole it would leave in the new sidewalk.
What seems odd at first glance turns out to be both efficient and economical. One day the sidewalk will be clear. Meanwhile, walk along 8th Street, South with care.