Old alleyway power poles like these may be there for some time yet

Old alleyway power poles like these may be there for some time yet

Old power poles staying put for now

Nelson Hydro is on track to complete its downtown conversion project on time and on budget — but getting the old poles out of the laneways may prove more difficult.

  • May. 31, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Nelson Hydro is on track to complete its downtown conversion project on time and on budget — but getting the old poles out of the laneways may prove more difficult.

Crews have been moving electrical and communications lines underground since fall of last year, as they replace the area’s failing 4KV system with a more modern 25KV. The entire project — including new heritage style-lighting for the city’s laneways and a “heritage demonstration model” — is expected to cost more than $2.8 million.

Trenches should be filled and roads re-paved by early August, Nelson Hydro representative Mike Amos told Nelson city council Monday, and downtown hydro customers should be on the new system this fall.

However, once the new system is installed, the existing power poles need to be dismantled. And Amos says Telus and Shaw aren’t planning to move their cables from the old poles as quickly as Nelson Hydro would like — and may not do so until the winter of 2012.

Because some of the communication cables are blocking hydro lines, Amos says the utility won’t be able to remove all its wires either, though it can de-energize the poles.