Cranberry Highway utility pole removal to begin this month

May 9, 2023

Eversource is set to begin removing the utility poles that are blocking final reconstruction work on Cranberry Highway in two weeks, according to Select Board Member Alan Slavin.

Slavin spoke with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about the matter.

The two sets of poles currently on Cranberry Highway — one on the sidewalk and one on the shoulder of the roadway — are a remnant of a $17.4 million project that is designed to make the section of road where Routes 6 and 28 meet safer for traffic and pedestrians.

The road has been widened, and sidewalks, a median and turnaround cutouts have been added. Pedestrian lights have been installed at crosswalks.

Slavin and State Sen. Marc Pacheco previously criticized Eversource for not moving quickly enough and delaying construction. 

The state Department of Transportation told Wareham Week in April that the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, but it’s not clear if the faster utility pole removal will speed up overall construction.

At press time, the department had not responded to a request for information on the project’s deadline.

Slow utility pole removal is a statewide issue, which two bills recently introduced in the state legislature hope to address.

Senate Bill 2107 and House Bill 3156 would allow municipalities to move utility poles on their own if a utility company does not do so within 90 days of its work window.

Both bills were referred to the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy in February, but they have not seen any action since. 

Construction on Routes 6 and 28 was originally outlined by the Department of Transportation in 2011, but a contract was not awarded until 2019, to P.A. Landers Inc.