By Terry Harpole
MABEN — People in the town of Maben in weeks past saw new utility poles lying on the ground all over town and trucks with crews of workmen in the area.
These trucks and crew of workers were employees of MDR Construction Co. from Columbia. MDR Construction is under contract with 4-County Electric Power Association to replace utility poles in Maben.
William Forbes, one of the supervisors with the company, said in October that his company was in town replacing old utility poles with new ones. He said after his crew finished putting up the new poles, it planned to come back as soon as other utility companies, such as cable and telephone, have come in and hooked to them.
After the new poles are put up in place, the wires to the poles for the power company will be updated with new copper that will last much longer, resulting in fewer blackouts or power shortages in the future.
As some timber and logging companies in the area are in the business of marketing and hauling logs for use as utility poles, Forbes was asked what kind of trees were used to make the utility poles.
He said not every tree will be used as a utility pole, but the best ones used would be the longleaf pine. These will grow from 80 to 100 feet tall and do not have many limbs but a top that spreads.
Forbes went on to say that, in his 16 years with the company and his dealings, 4-County EPA was one of the most up to date in keeping up with customers’ needs.