Power company orchestrates extensive upgrade

Crews try to push a new steel post into place at 600 East Oneida.

Power was cut to 673 Pacificorp customers on the east side of Preston and the top half of Cub River on Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as crews install new power poles and deteriorating insulators along Oneida, 2200 East, 800 South and surrounding areas as far north as Glendale.

The main reason for doing so is related to the widening of East Oneida, said Rett Sage, operations manager of Pacificorp’s Preston Station.

“We had to build another line for that in order for everyone else to come in behind us to do their part of the road. We took advantage of the outage to bring in extra crews to do some maintenance,” said Sage.

Crews came from Montpelier and Lava Hot Springs to help Preston crews replace just under 20 power poles.

“There’s over a dozen with the road widening project project, and a couple more that are starting to age,” said Sage. Many of those posts are made of steel, which will stand between 45’ and 50’ after they have been buried 14 feet into the ground.

“We put half a dozen steel posts to compensate for angle and strain. That way we don’t have to have (guylines) in people’s yards and completely change what was there originally. It lessens the burden to people getting poles in their yard,” said Sage.

Some poles were replaced with new raptor-safe poles designed so that birds will not get electrocuted when they perch upon them.

Although much maintenance work can be done while power lines are live, it is much safer for linemen to work while the power is cut.

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