Doe Bay project alert: power lines going underground

OPALCO has started the project to move the overhead power lines underground from the (temporary) Doe Bay bridge to the Eagle Lake intersection. The project is expected to take around three months, depending on weather. Flaggers may be on the road to guide traffic down to one lane, but no road closures are expected.

When the project is complete, the system will have increased capacity, greater reliability, shorter outage times, and a clean view corridor along that scenic section of Doe Bay Road. The new conduit will also carry Rock Island fiber-optic cables, providing new connection points along the route.

The conversion (overhead to underground) is necessary to ensure reliability in the area, particularly during winter storms. OPALCO had originally planned to simply replace the power lines on the overhead spans, but outage data showed frequent faults on that section of the line during windstorms, which justified the additional expense to underground the lines.

OPALCO’s distribution system is about 87% underground, and the Co-op is always looking for opportunities to storm-harden the remaining overhead lines. In addition to moving the lines underground, the system will be upgraded from single phase to three-phase, which is a significant capacity increase. The project begins on the east side of the bridge; once the new bridge is installed, OPALCO will complete the line segment across the new bridge.

To see when fiber will be available for your home or business, contact