Reader asks about power line balls
Published: Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 10:44 p.m.
The bright red balls suspended from power lines on State Road 24 between Archer and Gainesville have intrigued Melody M. Irizarry for years.
Who wants to know
- Name: Melody M. Irizarry
- Age: 41
- Occupation: Teacher, Chiefland High School
- Residence: Bronson
Irizarry, a Chiefland High School teacher who drove the route often when taking classes at the University of Florida a few years ago, wrote to Since You Asked to find out why the bright, globe-like objects are there.
"They've been there as long as I can remember, but had faded and some had fallen," Irizarry wrote. "Now they're back and brighter than ever. I can't imagine what they're for."
Irizarry said the objects are even stranger given their location in the "never-never land between Gainesville and Archer."
The power lines belong to Gainesville Regional Utilities, and the globe-like balls are meant to alert pilots flying into the nearby Flying Ten Airport, located off County Road 241, that there's a power line they should avoid, said GRU spokesman Dan Jesse. Jesse said the balls are a common sight around small airports, noting that they're often yellow rather than red.
"The bright balls on the lines are meant to be a signal or a warning to make sure pilots see the lines and don't fly too low," Jesse said.
Irizarry said she still drives that stretch of State Road 24 often, "any time we need to go into 'town' from Bronson."
"They just seemed so random, with three right in the same place," Irizarry said. "I never would have guessed that's what they were used for.
Amy Reinink can be reached at 352-374-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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