Thunder Bay scrambles to remove rusty lamp posts

The city of Thunder Bay is stepping up inspections of many of its lamp posts — and removing them if necessary —after a post fell to the ground, just missing a pedestrian.

A deteriorated lamp post fell to the ground on Monday, almost landing on a pedestrian

The city of Thunder Bay is stepping up inspections of many of its lamp posts — and removing them if necessary — after a post fell to the ground on Monday, just missing a pedestrian near Victoriaville centre.

The city's manager of roads said workers inspect street lamps every three to four years, which is normally enough to catch any problems.

But since Monday's incident, Brad Adams said monitoring has been increased.

A City of Thunder Bay worker begins the process of a removing a lamp post in the city's Victoriaville area. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

"Within the next couple of weeks, this week even, we're gonna assess where we have these types of poles elsewhere and look at them a little more closely,” he said.

"Typically we expect them to last longer from our inspection period … we very rarely get one of these issues where they just suddenly fail like that."

City worker Steve Kondreska said he and his team were busy removing lamp posts on Tuesday.

"We've done three,” he said. “We have a few more to go that we have to get down today [because] it could fall on somebody at any time. So we're probably looking at about five [more today]."

The fallen lamp post incident was a close call for the city — and for Donald Gagnon, the pedestrian who was nearly struck.

"It just fell over and almost hit me.  Like it rubbed off my shoulder and went to the ground,” he said.

Adams said the situation was “troubling,” and that the city usually has “some notice through our inspection process.”

“It's just we've got a lot of assets out there, and we just can't be everywhere to inspect all our assets." 

The decorative lamp posts around Victoriaville Centre were installed in the early 90s, he added, and were last inspected in 2010, when the city replaced the light fixtures atop the poles.

Adams said if people see other posts in danger of falling, they should call the city.


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