Troy upgrading utility lines, poles as part of $4 million plan

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 6, 2012

Utility poles have been placed along Park Street in Troy where they will soon replace older poles. A contractor is also installing larger power lines for the city.

New utility poles lining some Troy streets are part of an overall plan to improve the power system in the city.

“We are working with a contractor to change out some of the poles and we are putting up larger lines,” said James Flowers, Troy’s general manager of utilities.

The poles began appearing along Park Street and in some other areas recently, which Flowers said is one of the first steps in the process.

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“The get everything ready, and then they come back by and put the poles up,” Flowers said.

After moving the city’s lines to the new poles, there will be a period of time where two poles are in each location. The older poles will be removed after Troy Cable and other service providers complete their transition.

“It’s part of an overall plan to improve the system,” Flowers said.

On Tuesday, June 26, the Troy City Council approved bids for the project that will increase the city’s power capacity and upgrade distribution lines. The project was expected to cost more than $4 million when complete.

According to numbers presented at the June 26 council meeting, labor and materials for the new Elba Highway power substation was budgeted at $1,941,640; construction of a new transmission line will be $531,108; and upgrading distribution lines will cost $1,810,041.

“Every substation has a given capacity and we have to add larger transformers to meet the new capacity needs in Troy,” Flowers said. “In the long run, it will make for a more reliable system.”

The city sold 408 million kilowatt hours of electricity last year and is operating at 80 megawatts. The capacity for the city is 95 megawatts, according to information presented to the council.

The additions and upgrades are a result of a system study completed in 2008 and will be paid for by a bond issue.