These Bandages Can Make Old Utility Poles Feel New Again

The U.S. has somewhere between 200 million and 300 million wooden utility poles--roughly one for every American. The poles last only 30 to 40 years on average and are difficult to dispose of because they are treated with undesirable substances such as creosote. Plus, replacing them costs several thousand dollars apiece. That's a market opportunity for companies such as Osmose Wood Preserving Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., PoleCare Industries Inc. in Conyers, Ga., and Fox Industries Inc. in Baltimore, which make systems for repairing old poles.

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