The Herald News, Monday, January 29, 2018 – A1

By Kevin P. O’Connor
Email: KOConnor@heraldnews.com

FALL RIVER — The new poles are big and happily futuristic — 225-foot cheerleaders on the city waterfront.

And when they are complete, the erector set towers at Commonwealth Landing that carries high-tension wires over the Taunton River will be dismantled.

“It really opens up the view,” said Anthony Cordeiro, the developer of Commonwealth Landing. “Aesthetically, it is amazing. Two single poles will eliminate the Godzilla structure there.

“We want to clean up that property and bring people down to the water.”

National Grid owns two finger piers that jut out from Remington Street along the waterfront. The piers held three electric towers, constructed of latticed steel. Those towers dominated the view to the west from Commonwealth Landing and the outdoor deck at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill.

The new Y-shaped monopole towers are 20 feet taller than the lattice towers but take up less space on the ground. The city is already looking at the real estate that will be freed up, said Ken Fiola, executive vice president of the Bristol County EDC.

Bristol County EDC worked for years to convince National Grid to replace the lattice towers with something less obtrusive. It argued that replacing the lattice towers would allow the city to extend its waterfront walkway onto the piers.

“On the most southerly pier, National Grid agreed we would probably be able to work with them to construct a perimeter pathway around the tower.

“Once construction is complete, we’ll sit down and talk to them.”

The northern pier is too broken down to safely carry a pedestrian walkway, Fiola said.

The current walkway starts at Heritage Park next to the carousel and begins with a boardwalk that looks out on Battleship Cove. It continues for more than a mile to Bicentennial Park, which abuts the end of President Avenue.

An addition to the walkway would add a round trip of about a quarter mile.

The monopole towers should be complete by the end of February, according to Robert Kievra, a spokesman for National Grid. The project should be finished by the end of March.

Two lattice towers on the Somerset side of the river are also being replaced by monopoles, National Grid said.