Lengthy Outages Scheduled for Power Line Upgrade

October 09, 2017

MOAB, Utah — During the past few years, Rocky Mountain Power has been working to improve the reliability of its power line serving the Castle Valley, Castleton and Cisco areas. This phase of the work requires service interruptions to customers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on four days: Oct. 17 and 18, and again on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

On those dates, company crews will be replacing four structures, as well as the old wire (called conductor) with new wire between the four new structures. The new conductor will help improve reliability for the customers served by this circuit. Previous work on this project over the past few years included replacing some poles supporting the line and adding others to decrease the length of conductor between poles, which improves resistance to wind interference.

“Whenever possible, our crews perform work when circuits are still energized to minimize inconvenience to our customers,” said Dan Vink, Distribution Manager for Rocky Mountain Power in Moab. “We’ve been able to do quite a bit of work on this project without a planned outage. But when we replace the conductor, it will require an outage in order to do the work safely.

“We are very much aware of the inconvenience this may cause for our customers,” Vink said. “That’s why we are sending notices in the mail to everyone affected by this work. I’ve talked with many of them directly, and with local elected officials in recent months. We will be able to use a large mobile generator to keep about 370 affected customers in service, although a little more than 300 other customers will be subject to the full length of these outages.”

Vink explained that the generator will be able to continue service to many of the year-round customers who live in the Castle Valley area. Those customers in the communities of Cisco and Castleton, as well as others along the River Road (Highway 128 along the Colorado River) will be out of service during the work.

The project involves a 125-mile long distribution line from the Rattlesnake substation, about four miles west of La Sal. The line proceeds north along Highway 46 and 191 before traversing extremely rugged terrain southeast of Spanish Valley, the Millcreek Canyon crossing and the Porcupine Rim area. This complex terrain is in part the reason the lengthy outages are required. On Oct. 17 and 18, crews will be working the Millcreek Canyon crossing. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, they will complete the spans traversing the Porcupine Rim area. Crews will be removing the old conductor and using it to pull the new conductor into place.

In notices mailed Oct. 5 to affected customers, Rocky Mountain Power advised them to make necessary preparations for these long outages. The company apologized for the inconvenience and explained that every effort will be made to keep these the duration of these outages each day to a minimum.

Again, the dates and times of the planned outages are:

Oct. 17 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 18 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 31 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m..

Nov. 1 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Rocky Mountain Power has information about emergency preparations for power outages on its website.

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