Seattle City Light crews Tuesday night and Wednesday morning identified and repaired two streetlights that were giving off contact voltage. No one was injured in either case.
About 10 a.m. Wednesday, a customer called City Light to report a suspicious streetlight in her Blue Ridge neighborhood. The woman’s dog had yelped when it approached the pole and a friend’s dog had shied away from it.
A City Light crew responded immediately and measured 48 volts of electricity on the pole near the intersection of NW Blue Ridge Drive and NW 100th Street. Workers determined that the photo cell that turns the streetlight on and off had melted, shorting out the pole. They cut power and completed repairs by 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday night, Power Survey Co. (PSC), one of two contractors hired by City Light to help inspect all 20,000 metal streetlights and associated equipment, discovered a faulty streetlight near the intersection of Second Avenue and James Street. Old wiring had deteriorated, sending about 35 volts of electricity into a nearby mailbox, parking meter and bike rack. City Light crews immediately cut power and made repairs.
Power Survey Co. completed inspections in about 20 percent of the Downtown area Tuesday. City Light’s other contractor, Davey Resources Group, has inspected 125 streetlights in the Seattle Center area. City Light crews completed inspections in Seattle Housing Authority developments last week, including High Point, GreenBridge, New Holly and Rainier Vista. No other voltage readings were found.
The inspections are part of City Light’s effort to do everything we can to ensure public safety, following the death of a dog that stepped on an energized ground plate in Queen Anne last month. An investigation by the utility determined that a pinched wire and improper grounding caused the hazard.
Shortly after that incident, reports from residents helped to identify five other streetlights that carried voltage — three in Capitol Hill/Central District, one in High Point and one in Greenwood.