NewsCall 6 Investigates


Exposed live wires found at light poles, traffic lights across Indianapolis

Posted at 7:06 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 14:41:14-05

INDIANAPOLIS — There are live wires exposed at light pole after light pole across Indianapolis, a major safety concern for people walking in the area.

Call 6 Investigates found exposed wires at numerous poles, some with enough electricity to power common household appliances. 

The live wires were found hanging out of an access hole near the bottom of the pole. The hole is about the size of a half sheet of paper, and it's meant for crews to access the wiring to make repairs.

"It's pretty concerning, anytime you have an exposed wire, it seems to be a safety risk," Kevin Sweetland said. 

The access holes are supposed to be covered by doors so you can't get anywhere near the wires. 

Exposed wires were also found at the light pole for the traffic signals at Capitol Avenue and New York Street. The covers at those poles are just at the right height for a child to touch. 

"They could reach up and play with it, just having fun," Indianapolis resident Mr. James said. "They think it's a toy, hit it, something like that, and then boom there's a shock."

Because the pole at New York and Capitol is for traffic signals, it is the responsibility of DPW. We reported the missing covers and the live wires. DPW crews immediately came out to put covers over the holes. 

But the street lights, on the other hand, are owned by IPL. It's their responsibility to re-add the access covers. 

"Someone needs to be out here servicing these poles making sure the screws are in there and these wires aren't exposed," Mr. James said.   

Both IPL and DPW say the issue comes from people trying to steal the covers to sell for scrap metal. 

Both say they don't have crews inspecting the poles each day, but if crews are out and see issues, they will repair them.

Both agencies also say they rely on the community to report issues, but that is rare. 

If you notice an issue on a light pole, contact IPL. On another pole, like the one for traffic signals, reach out to the Mayor's Action Center on the RequestIndy app. 

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