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            News Release




Subject:   CITY LIGHT UPGRADING HIGH VOLTAGE POWER LINES OVER SHIP CANAL
For Immediate Release:   
3/30/2009  10:48:00 AM
For More Information Contact:


Project to improve reliability of power to Queen Anne and Magnolia

SEATTLE - Seattle City Light is about to begin a project to replace old wooden power poles and upgrade the high voltage power lines over the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The project will result in some short-term disruption of traffic and parking in the area, but there should be very little interruption of electrical power and advance notice will be given those directly affected. Specific dates of dates of traffic, parking and trail disruptions will be announced as soon as they are known.

This upgrade project is expected to begin in early April and may take up to five months. It will involve a number of trucks and staging of equipment on both the Queen Anne and Fremont sides of the canal, primarily near Warren Ave. N. along Nickerson St. on the Queen Anne side and Phinney Ave. N. by N. 34th on the Fremont side. There will be safety buffer areas beneath the towers during the time workers are overhead, including occasional closures of a portion of the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail.

City Light Customer Service & Energy Delivery Officer Chris Heimgartner describes this project as "crucial to meeting the increasing demand for reliable, uninterrupted power to our customers." He said very little work will be done on weekends, and only if necessary, and added it will not interfere with the weekly Fremont Market or the Fremont Fair in June. He also apologized for the expected inconvenience to local residents and businesses, including heavy equipment noise and vibration. He noted the citys crews and the contractor have been instructed to clean up the areas at the end of each work day.

On both sides of the canal, old wooden utility poles are being replaced with stronger steel ones. The old poles and wires will be removed first. Then concrete bases will be constructed for the new poles and, once the poles are in place, new wires will be attached. Additionally, new high voltage wires will replace the existing ones carrying 26,000 volts of electricity from the Canal Substation in Ballard to Queen Anne and Magnolia. They span the canal between two 200-foot steel lattice towers, which will also be upgraded and repaired.

On February 11th, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced the go-ahead for this project, which is among a list of utility infrastructure projects in the "Seattle Jobs Forward" package to stimulate the local economy. The contract for this project, just under $444,000, has been awarded to Award Construction, Inc., with additional design work by SvR Design and Commonwealth Associates, Inc.

Prior to the contractors notice to begin work, expected in mid-April, City Light workers will be on the site to do some preparatory work, including pole and wire removal and relocating some trees. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will oversee some minor work related to sidewalks, curbs and drainage.

Questions, complaints or concerns about the work can be directed to Mike Eagan, City Light Communications & Public Affairs, at (206) 615-1691 or by email to mike.eagan@seattle.gov.



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Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible and safe way. We are committed to delivering the best customer service experience of any utility in the nation.

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