PPL Electric Utilities said it is moving into a new phase of the transmission line replacement project in Scranton, Pennsylvania that began earlier this year. The company is in the midst of rebuilding three older transmission lines in the City of Scranton as part of an ongoing, longer-term regional plan to strengthen the aging electric infrastructure and ensure reliability for area customers.
The $7 million Stanton-Providence project began in April and will likely be completed in spring 2011. Built more than 70 years ago, the line was in need of replacement to meet the current and future electric needs of the city.
The project involves replacing 8 mi of existing 69-kV power lines with new utility poles and upgrades to the two local substations that supply power to part of the Scranton community, primarily east of Route 11. Also planned are upgrades to local distribution facilities in the area to improve service.
The construction does not involve installation of a new power line, like the planned Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line linking Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is a replacement of existing lines that will operate at the same voltage as they have since the 1940s. And there are no plans to raise the voltage level of the lines.
Overall the company is taking down 70 old wooden structures and replacing them with similar wooden utility poles along the same utility right of way. In limited cases, steel structures are being installed for extra strength and durability. All of the new poles are somewhat higher, about 10 to 20 ft, to conform to modern electrical code. PPL Electric Utilities is working with other utilities as well to transfer telephone and cable facilities from the old structures to the new poles.