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City takes temporary steps to stop Inglewood light post from falling

An apparent design flaw by the city of Calgary has turned out to be an emergency preventative measure.

On Tuesday (Nov. 17) Calgarian Richard Miller tweeted a photo of an obstruction near a crosswalk in the southeast community of Inglewood.  

But the “design fail” was done to prevent the post from collapsing.

“There’s a history of light posts falling over in Inglewood,” said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.

“The first thing driving all of this was an emergency response.”

In October of 2019, a fallen street lamp along 9 Ave SE narrowly missed a parked car.

After that incident, the city began replacing all of the historic light posts in Inglewood. Over the summer a test on them showed many were all rotted out.

But this post was not replaced.

Getting technical

Due to weathering and deterioration, the existing signal pole required immediate replacement due to base deterioration.

According to the city, the elevation of the traffic signal base is per spec, the base must be a minimum of 4 inches above finished grade to prevent ice, snow or water build-up around the pole flange and the anchor bolts.

“The reason it is above grade is to prevent it from rotting out,” said Coun. Carra.

Constructing the base a minimum of 4” above grade also helps to prevent damage from snow removal machines, and helps visually challenged users to locate the pole without it being a tripping hazard, the city said.

A temporary fix

There is planned upgrade work in the spring of 2021 to relocate utilities, widen the wheelchair ramp and install tactile pedestrian treatments.

“It was an emergency response to an emergency situation,” said Coun. Carra.

“And they (the transportation department) agree that it can’t stay like that.”

He added that blocking movement at the intersection and not having an accessible ramp is not acceptable, and everyone recognizes that.

“They’ll fix it in the spring,” said Coun. Carra.

“But they can’t fix it now. We just want to make sure that the light post doesn’t fall over.”