Oops. Garbage truck smashes utility pole, forces power outage

A garbage truck operated by Casella Waste Systems smashed a utility pole in Collegetown on Wednesday, forcing Ithaca officials to shut off power to the neighborhood to make repairs.

A Casella Waste garbage truck smashed this utility pole in Collegetown on Wednesday. Photo by Matt Cleveland courtesy of Luna Inspired Street Food.

The collision happened at lunchtime, forcing restaurants like Luna Inspired Street Food and the Carriage House Café to shut down during lunch. Luna has been able to reroute delivery orders to its new downtown location. Luckily, the affected area was just that block, containing Luna, Loco, the Carriage House, and WVBR, as well as apartments.

Osmun Place, the narrow street off Stewart Avenue next to the building that houses Luna and Loco Cantina, is even narrower than usual, with street parking blocked by fencing for the construction project at the former Chapter House site.

Killian Flynn, a Central New York area manager for Casella Waste Systems, tells us that their driver was not hurt, and there was no damage to the truck. Casella is the municipal waste contractor for the City of Ithaca and the recycling contractor for Tompkins County, and is one of a few trash haulers that operate in the Ithaca area, serving businesses and residential customers.

Officials told businesses and residents in the area that power might be out for up to six hours while crews worked to replace the pole and restore service.

Update: As of 5pm, power still had not been restored to the area.

If you can avoid driving through Collegetown, we’d suggest it — and if you can’t, remember that intersections with traffic lights out must be treated as an all-way stop.

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