Tag Archives: power line

Power line upgrades coming to Gorst, Sunnyslope area

The in basket: On my intermittent trips between Port Orchard and Belfair, I’ve noticed that the underbrush has been removed from beneath the power lines on the west side of Highway 3 between Gorst and Sunnyslope Road. The clearing is about the width of a road, but with the power poles in the way, that didn’t seem like a probable explanation for the work. Trucks for Potelco, Puget Sound Energy’s repair contractor, are often in the area.

I asked PSE what’s up.

The out basket: Akiko Oda, spokeswoman for PSE replied, “We have several projects along State Route 3 slated for this year:

– A tree wire project along SR 3 beginning at Sunnyslope Road to the end of PSE’s line, just south of Lake Flora Road (about 4.3 miles). This project replaces the center conductor with tree wire.”

Tree wire is a specially coated, overhead wire that’s designed to prevent an electric short (and subsequent outage) when a tree limb falls into a power line, a PSE Web site says. “Where installed, it significantly reduces the frequency of tree-related outages, but cannot prevent all disruptions (e.g. if an entire tree falls into a power line),” it says.

”As a permitting requirement, we’ll be working 20 feet from the fog line and also conducting some night work, which will require closing a lane of traffic,” she said. The work began last month and is expected to take four months.

– “Overhead and underground construction work along SR 3 from North Birch Avenue W to Sunnyslope Road. We’ll be installing a second circuit and rebuilding the existing circuit using tree wire (about 1.3 miles).

– “Rebuilding the distribution line from SR 3 along Victory Drive, east along Old Clifton, stopping at Feigley Road (about 2.8 miles).

A PSE Web site has more information, under its “In Your Community” link

Seabeck Highway power line job is a rarity

The in basket: I was surprised by an alert Kitsap County put out last week, saying that Puget Sound Energy will be putting electric wires underground along quite a stretch of Seabeck Highway. It begins at Holly Road, where the county will be building a roundabout soon, and continues to Northlake Way.

“Work continues through June,” the notice said. “Traffic is restricted to one lane in the immediate vicinity of the work. Work begins this week and moves easterly as the project advances. Flaggers assist motorists through the work area. Work hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Motorists should expect delays of 5-10 minutes in the immediate vicinity of the work.”

I was surprised because undergrounding power lines is costly and a rarity in such a rural area. I asked Puget Sound Energy what prompted it, if they do this more often than I think, and whether some private development is sharing in the cost.

The out basket: Akiko Oda of PSE says the company doesn’t do this often. “This is an unusual case,” she said. “PSE serves customers all the way out to the small community of Holly from the circuit that is getting the improvement work. The circuit originates at our substation at Northlake Way and is approximately 55 miles long and has a lot of exposure to storms. Installing the underground line will reduce the exposure to weather events.”

The work will put 2.75 miles of new underground 34.5kV feeder cables underground, she said. “We’ll also be moving five power poles to make room for the county’s roundabout project.

“This project is one of the jobs to improve safety and reliability,” she said. “It is not driven by a development.”