Next Phase of Susquehanna-Roseland Construction to Arrive With a Bang

The next phase of construction on the Susquehanna-Roseland power line will announce itself with a bang – a new implosive splicing technique used to connect sections of wire.

Implosive splicing has significant benefits for electric customers – including faster and cheaper construction, and better and stronger splices on power line wires. It is completely safe and is performed by specialty contractors. But it is noisy, and can be startling to some people and animals.

“The noise has been compared to a loud thunderclap or a commercial firework,” said Stephanie Raymond, transmission and substations vice president for PPL Electric Utilities. “We want to give everyone a heads-up so they are not surprised.”

Implosive splicing work will start in the South Canaan Township, Wayne County, area and move toward the Lake Wallenpaupack area beginning in July. This work method will be used in most areas of the power line construction through early 2015.

Power line wires come in spools of limited length. When the end of the wire is reached on one spool, it must be spliced onto the wire of a new spool to continue construction. To make a splice, a metal sleeve is slipped over the ends of both wires and crimped into place to join the wires.

In the past, the sleeves were crimped using large hydraulic presses. With implosive splicing, the connectors are crimped to the wires with a small, controlled implosion rather than with mechanical force. A small implosive charge is wrapped around the wires and the sleeve at the splice point, doing the work quickly and safely.

This method is more efficient and faster than the old method. It produces a stronger and better joint. And it means that fewer splicing locations are needed on the power line right of way. All of this is good for customers because it saves construction and maintenance costs, provides a more reliable electrical connection and helps reduce the duration and inconvenience of the construction period.

PPL Electric Utilities will notify residents near the implosion sites with letters, fliers delivered door-to-door and phone calls in advance of the work at each location.

The Susquehanna-Roseland power line will improve electric service for homes and businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It is being built by PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. It is scheduled to be in service by June 2015.

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