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Requirement to move utility pole

I have been required by the Oregon Dept. of Transportation to relocate the Verizon phone pole near my driveway because it intterferes with my northbound sight distance and creates a safety problem when leaving my driveway onto a state highway. The driveway has been there 40 years or more, the pole has been there for less than 5 years and was installed when a previous owner built the house, which was completed in 2007.

Verizon wants $840 nonrefundable just to give me a cost estimate to move the pole, which will likely cost a couple thousand more. Meanwhile, I'm required to remove trees and re-grade my property to the south to improve sight distance in that direction. In all, this will cost upwards of $5,000, and I'm not even changing the driveway configuration, I'm just building a garage for a two-year old house.

My question is this: Why am I paying to have a phone pole moved if it was placed in a dangerous location to begin with? If I cancel my landline service, can I request Verizon to remove the utility pole at their expense? There's a power pole 30 feet back that would serve well, but Verizon and PGE don't share poles I'm told, though I'm talking to PGE to see if there are other options. I'm still talking with ODOT to see if the phone pole issue can be waived, but the requirement is still there and will prevent issuance of the occupancy permit for my garage. It could easily take 90 days to address the phone pole issue which technically means I can't use my garage which is currently under construction.

Any help, recommendation or solutions would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Requirement to move utility pole
Specialist - Level 2

This may seem like a strange answer, but check your property deed, and see if the existing power poles are covered by a utility easement on the deed. If they are, you probably need to talk to an attorney, because I think you may actually have a turf war of sorts. The location of the pole is probably subject to Public Utilities Commission authority (or its Oregon equivalent), and it is possible you can get the PUC (or the city/municipality if you live in an incorporated area)  to order Verizon to move the pole at Verizon's expense if it is located on the utility easement and deemed to be Verizon property.

If you have a utility easement, you probably don't have any control over the pole even if you don't have Verizon service, i.e. the pole has a right to be on the easement whether you have service or not.

You might also ask Verizon how much it would cost to bury the cable (so you don't need the pole) if you cannot get PUC help.