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What Are Those Two Large Poles Along the Snake River Near Sunnyside Road?

By East Idaho News Staff

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls Power (IFP) has set two large, steel power poles along the Snake River near Sunnyside Road in preparation for the next phase of construction of the Heritage Park project.

Currently power lines span the property going across the Heritage Park site, which is located adjacent to Snake River Landing on the west side of the river across from IFP’s Lower Power Plant. In order to accommodate the design and construction of the park, stakeholders determined to move the existing lines as part of the project.

The new poles were designed to be taller than the current poles to allow uninterrupted views of the river and surrounding area. The larger poles are more costly but were made possible through the support of Snake River Landing.

“This has been a challenging project to accomplish due to the necessity of this high voltage line that is critical to reliable service in this area of town,” said Idaho Falls Power General Manager Bear Prairie. “Undergrounding was found to be cost prohibitive, so our design and engineering staff really rolled up their sleeves and worked with the various stakeholders to find a visually appealing design.”

The two “end poles” are the largest of the power poles that will allow IFP crews to reroute the existing lines around Heritage Park. Both the existing 12.5kv lines and the 46kv lines will be able to run on the new power poles.

Now that the poles are all set, IFP crews will start installing the actual power lines on the structures over the next few weeks.

The park project, which broke ground in April of 2018, will encompass 9.4 acres on land donated to the city by Stafford and Woody Smith. The Idaho Falls Rotary Club and Ball Ventures have provided financial contributions for the construction of the project and Matt Morgan and companies associated Jackson Hole Junction have provided in excess of 60,000 cubic yards of fill dirt.

The next phase of construction, which will involve further site preparation for irrigation and integration of water uses, is scheduled to begin this spring.