Underground electric cable in View Ridge was buried directly in the ground from 1969 to 1974 using the technology and materials available at the time. As underground cables age, the protective insulation deteriorates. In 2009 and 2010, Seattle City Light tested and, where possible, injected the cable with silicon. The silicon injection process extends the life of the cable by at least 20 years. Approximately 60 percent of the cable that was tested was injected. The other 40 percent of the cable in the neighborhood was tested but found not suitable for injection. That 40 percent must now be replaced. The next step in replacement is installation of conduit. Seattle City Light is hiring a contractor to install conduit and associated work, including new electrical vaults; curb ramp installation and restoration, sidewalks, pavement, and landscaping. The final step will be pulling the cable into the protective conduit by Seattle City Light crews.
In 2012, test holes were drilled to determine the location of other utilities that are near where the conduit will be installed. The conduit will be installed by tunneling beneath the ground's surface. This method is called horizontal-directional drilling (HDD). HDD is much less disruptive to sidewalks and landscaping than open trenching. It is also a less expensive, faster means of replacing the electrical system. City Light's Resident Engineer will be on-site to monitor the contractor.
The original plan was to complete the installation of the conduit in 2012. Additional design and permitting requirements and staffing changes have caused the delay. The design process is coming to an end and the contract bid will start in May. City Light should have the contractor by July. The conduit installation project will begin shortly after that time and run for approximately six months. Installation of electrical cable by Seattle City Light crews will be scheduled at a later date.
The status of your electric cable may have changed due to the need to make emergency repairs since the original silicon injection project. A map showing the locations where new conduit and vault installations are necessary can be found here.
In the coming months, we will be sending you a project update and an invitation to a community meeting, which will take place before construction begins in the winter. The community meeting will allow you to meet the contractor, project manager, resident engineer, and have your questions answered. Until then, if you have questions about this meeting, please contact Mark VanOss, Public Relations Specialist at (206) 684-3279 or email@example.com
Thank you for your patience as we work to provide View Ridge with a new and refurbished electrical system. We look forward to seeing you at the community meeting!
Due to permitting delays, City Light is now planning for an December community meeting. Underground conduit installation will follow.
For questions please contact: Emily Burns, Project Manager, 206-733-9972.