Wind gusts knocked a utility pole next to Kansas Expressway onto a minivan in southwest Springfield on Saturday. It's not the first time this has happened. Around the city, you can find rusty light poles that may be in danger of falling.
Thousands of cars travel the main thoroughfares in Springfield daily. Most of us try to be aware of road conditions and the traffic around us.
"You’re trying to pay attention to what other people are doing trying to be a defensive driver,” said driver Mark Wood.
Falling light poles may not be a hazard that you automatically add to your watch list.
“And at some time, you don't know if something’s going to fall on you. Definitely that's something that now we have to take into account,” said Wood.
The one that slammed into the Dodge minivan on Saturday creates a concern for drivers -- and even pedestrians like Rachel Kaplan, who was walking her dogs on Monday.
"I walk them in every kind of weather. They need to be walked, so I don't want to be worried about a light pole falling on my dogs of myself,” said Kaplan.
Several poles fell in March 2012. At that time, City Utilities of Springfield said it had 200 poles on its replacement list but limited funds to replace them.
"We want to make sure the poles that are needing repair are a priority, and they're structurally sound. On the same point, we have to come back and take care of everything else on a daily basis," said Joel Alexander of City Utilities.
Now that list stands at 120, but the one on Kansas Expressway was not on that list. Drivers say it’s difficult for them to understand.
"They definitely need to change their focus and help the drivers," said Wood.
The green painted poles were put up several decades ago, and are made of a material that is no longer used. CU says it hopes to have the rest of the damaged poles replaced by the end of next year.