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Complaints mount on leaning utility poles in Plano

Oncor hopes to replace ten leaning poles in the Custer and Parker area over the next several weeks.

PLANO, Texas — If you take a drive down Custer or Parker Road in Plano, something very noticeable stands out, quite literally: There are a number of utility poles with a significant tilt.

"That's about ready to fall on anybody, that's a death trap," said one Plano resident.

Residents say the problem didn't happen overnight. Plano resident Benny Burton tells WFAA he's contacted the city over the last several years about the utility pole that sits on his property. 

Tim Icenhower can see the line of leaning poles from his dental practice along Custer Road.

"It's been here for a while. It seems like it's getting worse," Icenhower said. "I'm not sure how much is tied into these lines but we lose everything once those go down," he said.

The City of Plano confirms to WFAA that it has received many complaints from nearby businesses and homeowners.

"For more than five years, the City of Plano has made multiple requests to Oncor in regard to 'leaning' utility poles on the west side of Custer Road, north of Parker Road. Oncor has not been responsive. If the poles do not pose a significant engineering safety issue, they are not an Oncor priority. The City of Plano has implemented monthly coordination meetings with Oncor to help improve communication and responsiveness. The City will continue working with Oncor in good faith to address our concerns," reads a statement from the city.

Oncor tells WFAA they are very aware of the issue and they stress there are no public safety or reliability risks and that it's only aesthetic. They say the trees and the weight of equipment pulls the lines which puts a strain on the pole.

"Safety and reliability are Oncor's number one concern. And, we want to work with our communities on aesthetics and achieving that," said an Oncor spokesperson.

When pressed about the delays for service, the spokesperson said changing out a pole takes coordination with other service providers that also use the poles and lines. The spokesperson says the other providers do not have the same threshold for responding to resident or city concerns over infrastructure.

Within hours of talking with Oncor, crews were out replacing two of the most tilted lines on Custer Road.

"I complained to them for years. It's about time," said Burton.

Oncor hopes to replace ten poles in the Custer and Parker area over the next several weeks. Oncor reminds people to use the MyOncor app to share images and locations in the event of outages or infrastructure issues.

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