Update and Outlook: October 2013
ALL BUSINESSES NEAR CONSTRUCTION ZONE CONTINUE TO BE 100% OPEN & ACCESSIBLE DURING THIS WORK.
OCTOBER OUTLOOK: LOW IMPACT FOR DRIVERS, GREAT PROGRESS FOR POWER CUSTOMERS
ENERGIZING THE MAIN ELECTRICAL LINE: Between Oct. 1-15, PG&E crews will be energizing the new main underground power line. This is an exciting milestone for the undergrounding project. There will be no power outages due to this work, as the old overhead lines will remain charged and connected. This is the final preparation for the service cut-overs now scheduled to begin in later October & November. The new gas main is also being tied-in & new street lights installed.
WHAT IS A SERVICE CUTOVER? This is how the power supply will shift from the overhead wires to the underground conduits. If you are in the “cone zone,” power to your home/business should be interrupted only once, for a few hours, sometime in the six-week period starting late October. The timing is critical to the completion of the undergrounding project. PG&E’s default communication plan provides that each owner will receive written notice from PG&E three (3) weeks prior to your scheduled outage, with a contact for PG&E’s Planned Outage Coordinator, Mandy Kumar, for you to discuss small issues immediately.
WHEN WILL MY POWER OUTAGE BE SCHEDULED? SPECIALTIMING NEEDS? PG&E and their contractors, Underground Construction (UCCO), remain committed to working as cooperatively as possible with affected property owners and businesses to schedule these critical path service cutovers throughout October and into November. Thanks to everyone on the construction corridor (between Mee Lane and Charter Oak on Hwy 29) who has connected with us in recent weeks to register your key contact person and preferred timing needs. CONNECT ASAP: If you’ve not done so already, please provide your service address/business name along with the name, email and phone of a facilities-knowledgeable person to serve as point of contact with UCCO/PG&E to the community liaison, Shannon Kuleto, at Shannon@accesssthelena.org. She will connect your representative with the project managers for a direct technical discussion of the cut-over options available case-by-case.
- One time or several? Outages should be limited to one per service rather than multiple times.
- How long will your power be out? Duration of an outage depends on several variables. Some will take a full shift but most will be done in a few hours.
- Who is affected? Services along the construction zone only. Power to downtown St Helena or beyond will not be affected by these cutovers.
- How long will it take? The entire process will take 4-6 weeks to complete but each connection will face only one outage. Your neighbor’s outage may not be the same as yours!
- Should we use a generator? If your business will need supplemental power during the planned outage, now is the time for you to make contingency plans including locating a generator and wiring your panel for generator power. You must notify PG&E (contact on your written notice) if you plan to use generator power so they can factor in system feedback.
Congrats to Underground Construction for over 280 days (100%) of safety on this project!
NEED MORE INFO? For maps, routes and frequent updates, see the Access St. Helena Facebook page or visit www.AccessStHelena.org website. For further questions, contact Public Liaison Shannon Kuleto at Shannon@AccessStHelena.org.
ABOUT ACCESS ST. HELENA
Access St. Helena is a community outreach group bringing you information about highway improvement projects along Hwy 29, the main north-south transportation route leading into the city of St. Helena, from Mee Lane (south of the city) to Charter Oak Avenue (in the city).
First, PG&E will build a trench, place the overhead utility and services lines underground, and remove the utility poles along the highway.
Caltrans will follow with a project that will provide vastly improved access into St. Helena, a continuous two-way left turn lane, and an overall safer highway for residents, visitors and bicyclists, with standard-width shoulders and a bicycle ‘fly around’ at the Whitehall Lane railroad crossing.
During the work, all of Napa Valley is open for business, and the contractors are committed to keeping both lanes open whenever possible during construction. You will find information on traffic impact here. In an unprecedented effort, private and public entities and the utilities are working together in a coordinated effort to mitigate the short-term impacts of construction.
The two projects together will bring us all a safer and more beautiful Napa Valley.