North Seattle residents still fighting against power poles

by: David Ham Updated:


SEATTLE - Sound Transit says it has come up with a compromise after North Seattle residents complained about a proposal to put 125 foot transmission poles in their neighborhood.

"Essentially, shorter poles using more natural materials called a glulam type of wood laminate that are also thinner at the base," said Bruce Gray, spokesperson for Sound Transit.

The new proposal was presented to neighbors at a Haller Lake Community meeting on Thursday night.

Sarah Benki-Nugent has been one of the most vocal neighbors against the project.

"It's an industrial type of infrastructure that doesn't belong on a regular street. It'll detract from the general aesthetics on the street," said Benki-Nugent,

The new poles have to go in along 115th  because Sound Transit needs to remove old poles nearby to make room for Link Light Rail extensions.

Even though Sound Transit says the new poles will be about 100 feet tall and made of laminated wood, Benki-Nugent is still skeptical.

Sound Transit said some steel poles may still be included in the plans.

"I think we'll have to wait and see whether their proposal addresses our concerns or whether it addresses part of the concerns," said Benki-Nugent.

In West Seattle's Delridge neighborhood, homeowners have lived for a while with poles similar to the ones Sound Transit originally proposed for North Seattle.

"They're benign; they kind of go back into the background. You don't notice them after a while," said Betsy Hoffmeister.

Sound Transit hopes the new proposal will work for everyone.

"We think this is a good design that we're going to carry forward," said Gray.

Sound Transit hopes to finalize designs later this year and start installing the new transmission poles sometime next year.