Crews are replacing some utility poles on the Eagle Lake Road this month. Emera Maine is also adding a communication line along that route.

Pole replacement begins

BAR HARBOR — New, taller utility poles to better accommodate electrical transmission lines were installed this year along sections of Route 3 and Knox Road. Some poles on the Eagle Lake Road also are being replaced, officials from power company Emera Maine said, but they won’t be significantly taller than the old ones and no additional electric lines are planned.

As part of an ongoing project to improve the reliability of electrical service, Steve Sloan of Emera said, communication cable will be run along the Eagle Lake Road to Young’s Corner near the intersection with Norway Drive. It will connect the new substation on Prospect Avenue to the existing substation at Young’s Corner.

The communication cable allows data to be sent back to Emera’s system operations center in Hampden. Operators there can track issues with the system and control some functions remotely.

“We’re running that cable along the existing line,” Sloan said. “While we were doing that, we also did further inspection of the poles along that line. We knew some of them were getting close to needing to be replaced. We identified 38 poles to replace.”

The poles currently carry single source 34.5-kilovolt electrical transmission lines, electrical distribution lines and communications cable for telephone and cable television companies. “That whole configuration will stay just as it is,” Sloan said.

Emera consulted with affected property owners and staked out locations for the new poles several weeks ago. A few new anchor points will be needed.

“It seemed like an efficient time to do both, replacing those poles and putting the cable in,” he said.

No permits were needed from the town because the changes are all on the state highway. Work began this week on the first eight poles.

“We are moving as fast as we can, being sensitive to summer traffic,” Sloan said. “Our goal was to get as far as we can before the Fourth of July.”

In other parts of the reliability project, he said, construction of the new substation is slightly ahead of schedule.

“We’re shifting now from foundation work to the structure itself going up within a few weeks.”

The remainder of the work on Route 3, the section affected by the Maine Department of Transportation’s project closer to downtown, is set for late fall and winter.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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