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BPA line work will result in power outages

by KEITH KINNAIRD
Hagadone News Network | April 24, 2010 9:00 PM

SANDPOINT - The Bonneville Power Administration is scheduled to start work next month on an $8 million project to rebuild 25 miles of transmission line between here and the Albeni Falls Dam.

As many as 340 power poles will be replaced and 17 miles of line will be re-conductored, according to BPA. The work is slated to start on May 10 and wrap up in late November.

The work will result in outages along the line.

Work will be conducted in the Albeni Falls area from May 10 to June 17 and in Laclede from June 17-21, according to a proposed outage schedule. Work in the Sandpoint area is planned for June 21 to July 2.

Work between Dover and Laclede is scheduled for July to September. From Sept. 9 to Nov. 24, work will be conducted between Priest River and Laclede.

More precise dates and the duration of the outages were not available this week.

"We don't know the exact days and times yet," said Bonner County Commission Chairman Joe Young, who attended an April 13 open house on the project.

Young urged BPA to notify power customers through the media when an area would be affected by the work.

The existing transmission line and wood poles have gradually deteriorated over time due to exposure to the elements and normal wear and tear. BPA has performed routine maintenance on the Albeni Falls-Sand Creek transmission line, but many of the poles, conductors and other gear were part of the original structures built in the early 1950s.

"If BPA does not rebuild it by installing new poles and replacing the hardware, it will risk deterioration, which could lead to line failures and possible power interruptions," BPA project manager Erich Orth said in an April 6 letter.

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