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Iron utility poles go up in Lanett

LANETT — Eight 45-foot-tall ductile iron utility poles have gone in the ground along North Lanier Avenue. They will be replacing 14 wooden poles between the Tanyard Creek Bridge and the intersection of Cherry Drive. Next week, a contractor will be stringing the city’s electric lines on the poles. After that, work crews from WOW! and Charter Spectrum will be placing their lines on the poles.

The metal poles are part of the city’s streetscape look. Mayor Kyle McCoy said the new poles look much better than the aging wooden poles.

He also likes it that the lines will be higher than what’s been there recently and that mast arm LED lighting will provide better visibility in the night-time hours.

“We will be replacing the present electric lines with new ones,” Planning & Development Director Tony Chandler said. “We also put in new lines on the previous sections of the streetscape. When we are finished with this, we will have new lines running from downtown to Cherry Drive.”

Weather permitting, this section of the streetscape could be completed by the end of next week. With some rainy days, it could take two weeks.

“We will also be finished with what we are doing on First Street by then,” Chandler said.

The work along North Lanier Avenue has been funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and the First Street work by an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant.

The streetscape work on First Street will be completed in 2021. It will run from Highway 29 to Eighth Avenue near W.O. Lance Elementary School and Veterans Park. Funded by a $630,000 grant, the First Street portion could be the best one yet.

“It’s in the design phase right now, but we think it’s going to look really good,” Chandler said. “It will be different from what we have on North Lanier. Instead of being on the side of the street, the planters will be on islands in the middle of the street. We will have double-arm lamp posts in the middle of the street. We’ll still have the wide sidewalks and the crosswalks. Because it will be so different from what we did on North Lanier, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

The First Street work will start once the school year ends in May.

“We didn’t want to get in the way of school traffic,” Chandler said. “We should be completed with it by late July.”

The completion of the First Street work will result in the long-sought goal of having a downtown T with North Lanier being the leg and First Street the top bar.

McCoy has said he’d like to continue the streetscape to look south from downtown toward the historic Lanett Scout Hut.

“I think things look so much better than they did just a few years ago,” he said.