Undergrounding electrical service doesn’t make it outage-proof. Residents in the Brace Point area south of Fauntleroy know that firsthand. After multiple outages, they’re about to get replacements for half-century-old underground infrastructure. We’ve reported on the long-planned project before; on Wednesday afternoon, Seattle City Light offered an online meeting for residents to get project details and ask questions. The meeting was scheduled for an hour but lasted only half that, adjourned when attendees ran out of questions.
Here are our toplines, starting with where the work will happen:
(You can see a slightly larger version of the map on the project website.) The contractor is Olson Brothers Excavating of Puyallup, awarded a $7 million contract for the project. Reps from both the contractor and SCL were at the meeting; they said the work will last “two to three years.” While some work was done to bolster underground cables with silicone injections a decade ago, it only worked on half the cables, so replacement is needed now. Other background:
The work involves trenching and will all be done in public right-of-way.
It was also made clear that the work only involves the city-owned system, no private connections to residences. Some outages will be needed, but those aren’t expected until later in the project, at least a year from now, and SCL promises there’ll be advance notice unless it’s an “emergency” outage. The outages, they promised, would last hours, not days, and would generally be in the daytime. (Same goes for the work hours – weekdays, 8-5, is the standard plan.)
Crews will be working in multiple areas concurrently; at day’s end, any trenching that hasn’t been filled (temporary fill will precede permanent fill) will be covered with steel plates.
So when and where will the work start? Preparation, such as surveying, is happening now. 47th SW is the first planned work location, according to the contractor. One resident voiced concern about access, and was assured that access will be maintained, and any road closures would be fleeting – “minutes” in duration. Residents with questions/problems during the construction can contact the contractor via firstname.lastname@example.org.
One more note: SCL says it’ll link a recording of the Wednesday meeting on the project website soon.