Along Maxwelton Road, Puget Sound Energy electric crews are installing tree wire, which is a specially coated overhead wire that’s designed to prevent an electric short – and subsequent outage – when a tree limb falls into a power line. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Along Maxwelton Road, Puget Sound Energy electric crews are installing tree wire, which is a specially coated overhead wire that’s designed to prevent an electric short – and subsequent outage – when a tree limb falls into a power line. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Clinton gets new power poles

New utility poles, wires going up along Maxwelton Road

Fewer power disruptions for Clinton residents are the goal of a Puget Sound Energy upgrade that’s replacing power poles and lines along Maxwelton Road.

The work involves short traffic stops between Midvale Road and French Roads.

Upgrades to the existing electric distribution system are also taking place along French Road for about one mile east of Maxwelton Road, said Steve Brock, PSE Electric System Design project manager.

Along with installing new utility poles, the project is also replacing the current electric wire with tree wire, Brock said.

Tree wire is a specially coated overhead wire that’s designed to prevent an electric short – and subsequent outage – when a tree limb falls onto a power line, he explained.

“Where installed, it significantly reduces the frequency of tree-related outages, but can’t prevent all disruptions,” Brock said.

The work “will improve the reliability in the immediate area as well as in the South Whidbey area in the long run,” he added.

The project creates a new 3-phase feeder tie from the new electric substation on Craw Road to Cultus Bay Road, Brock said.

A feeder tie connects two distribution circuits together. “This provides more flexibility to isolate problem areas and restore power more quickly in the event of an outage,” Brock said.

The vast majority of the work is being done without the need for cutting off power.

But some of the work does require temporary outages.

For small outages (less than five homes), the PSE crew works directly with affected customers. If a larger outage is required, customers will be notified in advance via mail, email and/or by phone, Brock said.

The project is expected to be complete in late July or early August.

A crane operator lifts and drops a new utility pole along Maxwelton Road for Puget Sound Energy. Crews are upgrading the electric distribution system on Maxwelton Road between Midvale Road and French Road. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

A crane operator lifts and drops a new utility pole along Maxwelton Road for Puget Sound Energy. Crews are upgrading the electric distribution system on Maxwelton Road between Midvale Road and French Road. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

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