1 October 2015 at 6:19 am
Orion is about to take down the two temporary overhead lines that provided power to 20,000 customers in the eastern suburbs following the 2011 quakes.
The removal of the Bromley - Rawhiti Domain line will begin on 5 October and should be complete by the end of the month. Work on the Bromley - Dallington line is expected to run from 2 November until about 11 December.
The temporary high voltage lines were quickly erected when Orion’s main underground cables in the eastern suburbs were damaged beyond repair in the 22 February quake.
Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson says media coverage of the large 14 metre poles being installed on the Saturday following the disaster was one of the memorable images of the quake response.
“To plan 9.5kms of new overhead lines, get consents, pull together all the materials and personnel, and begin work – all within four days – that was quite an achievement by everyone concerned. It was another example of our community’s ‘all hands to the pump’ response to the tragedy.”
Replacement underground cables have now been installed in the eastern suburbs and tested under heavy load during the winter. The new cables are part of a $60m upgrade to Orion’s urban high voltage network.
“Our goal throughout has been to provide a reliable electricity supply to local customers,” says Mr Jamieson.
“We acknowledge the significant impact the earthquakes had on the eastern suburbs, which was further exacerbated by having to deal with our temporary overhead lines for a long period. To recognise this we are making two $15,000 donations to worthy eastern suburbs causes. We are supporting the New Brighton Project, which organises an array of great social activities, and South New Brighton School, to help fund their successful student welfare initiatives.”
Mr Jamieson says contractors removing the overhead lines and poles will be striving to minimise any inconvenience to locals. “We will try to ensure people in the affected streets continue to have access to their properties. We’ll certainly be communicating with residents if we need to work in front of a driveway.
“When each pole is removed we will immediately fill in the hole. Landscaping contractors will then work their way down each street applying 300mm of topsoil and grass seed to the affected areas to restore the street frontage.”