Power Line Construction Begins Final Phase to Bolster Reliability

January 22, 2013

YAKIMA, Wash. – Pacific Power begins work this week to rebuild an existing 115-kilovolt transmission line in east Yakima.

This is the final step in a two-year construction project to increase local electrical system capacity to meet growing needs of customers and enhance system reliability. No traffic disruptions or major disruptions to electric service are expected during construction.

Crews are rebuilding just over one mile of line within the existing right of way. This final phase starts at the substation near at West Viola and Voelker avenues, crosses the railroad tracks, then heads north to the substation on Pacific Avenue between South 3rd and Naches avenues. Construction will be completed by April 1, 2013.

All customers and property owners along the route have been notified of the project by mail. If power must be temporarily interrupted at any time during construction, affected customers will be notified a minimum of 48 hours in advance.

“We’d like to thank our customers in advance for their patience and caution while this project to improve their service is underway,” said Bill Clemens, regional community manager, Pacific Power. “Our objective is to minimize any inconvenience as we implement this investment to increase our system’s capacity and bolster reliability throughout the Yakima area.”

The overall project involves replacing all the transmission poles along the route, removal of the old wire, and installation of higher capacity wire. While some of the new poles are taller than those they replace, more than half of the pole replacements will be from five to 15 feet shorter than existing poles, improving the aesthetics along with the equipment.

New poles will be larger in diameter to carry the added weight of the new wire, and most poles will be replaced within a few feet of existing poles. In most locations, other wires on the poles, such as telephone and cable television lines, city and county communication lines, and Pacific Power’s distribution lines will be relocated to the new poles. City-owned streetlights will also be transferred to the new poles.

The first phase of this project, completed in February 2012, rebuilt two miles of transmission line between the Pacific Power substation at Pacific Avenue and 4th Street, and the substation at North 10th and East D streets. In the second phase, completed in December 2012, almost three miles were rebuilt, from a substation at West Viola and Voelker avenues, to a substation on Ahtanum Road in Union Gap.

In addition to work along the route, customers also will see large loads of poles, wire and other construction materials being transported from Pacific Power’s yard on Keys Road in Terrace Heights to the construction area.

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