Apr 1, 2013
PPL Electric Utilities is beginning work to rebuild a critical piece of the downtown Williamsport electric distribution system, in its latest step to strengthen reliability and address aging infrastructure in the local area.
The utility said it will de-energize an underground vault, located at Third and Laurel streets, on Monday, April 1. The company plans to rebuild the vault and replace electrical equipment over the next two months.
For pedestrian and motor traffic purposes, the company said it has tried to consider impact on local businesses and visitors as much as possible. Traffic will be reduced to one lane on Third Street between Williams and Pine streets for the construction period. The MidTown Parking Deck will remain accessible. River Valley Transit bus traffic will continue to access the Trade and Transit Center at the work location.
The sidewalks will not be obstructed. In particular, patrons of the Community Theatre will still be able to access the theatre’s Third Street entrance.
PPL Electric Utilities is investing nearly $3 million over three years on upgrades to local utility equipment and facilities to modernize its system and enhance reliability. Last year, the company replaced two underground vaults downtown. In mid-May, work will begin on relocating a vault presently at the corner of Willow and Laurel streets to accommodate a city project. That work will last into late summer.
Additionally, the company plans to replace some automated equipment at its South Williamsport substation later this year. The computerized equipment allows the utility’s system operators to remotely monitor and control power flow in the area, which can reduce outages. And, next year, the company has scheduled replacement of older power equipment at one of its Williamsport substations.
Across its entire delivery system, PPL Electric Utilities is investing nearly $1 billion this year and $3.8 billion over five years to renew facilities, improve its operations, and better serve customers in the coming years. More than half of the company’s distribution system was built in the 1960s and 1970s and has reached or is nearing the end of its useful life. The company is also rebuilding many of the transmission lines that make up the regional power grid, some that date back decades.
PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.