Why the bags? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Why the bags?


by Jamey Boyum

If you have been driving down Grande lately, you may have noticed them. They're shiny and just lying there in the gutter. They're some kind of bags, and they've been there for a month or so, but what are they?

There were several guesses floating around the newsroom as to what the bags are, and what they are doing just sort of lying there on the side of the road. The most creative guess was they contained some kind of pesticide designed to activate when storm water passed through them.

The Northeast Texas Health district said the bags weren't theirs. Texas Department of Transportation wouldn't claim them, and the City of Tyler said they didn't do it either. Turns out, they belong to ONCOR.

"What's with the bags?" I asked Charles Hill of ONCOR.

"The bags are here basically to protect the curbs. Obviously, we're working on this transmission line, or starting to work on this transmission line. We're changing out the wood structures," he explained.

Charles said the dual poles will be replaced with single poles, which are more efficient, and will carry a heavier load of electricity. Trucks need to hop the curb to do the work on gravel pads. The bags are full of asphalt filler.

"It's just a temporary ramp that will go away when we complete the project," Charles said.

When the poles are in place by summer's end, the ramps will go away, and so will the gravel pads. They are also using mesh tubes full of wood chips, but these will not go away.

"Some of the long tubes are there to prevent erosion as rain comes and that sort of thing," Charles added.

"Now, there's wild hogs in the area; are you afraid they may choke on this stuff?" I asked.

"I don't know that I'm worried about that, but that might be a good thing," he laughed.

So the gutter bags will stick around a little while, keeping that innocent curbing safe from heavy-hitting work trucks; mystery solved.

In the coming weeks there will be single lane closures around the poles ONCOR is changing out. The project will help meet the needs of electrical usage in the years to come.

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