Project Update for 12kV Distribution Line - February 2023
Dear APS Customers and Community Members,
We would like to share an update regarding the upgrade to the 12kV distribution power lines along Walker Road from Big Bug Mesa Road to Liese Drive. This project is important to the community, and we will always be committed to providing safe, clean, and reliable electricity. We’ve received various comments from the community related to overhead powerlines and how they may impact aesthetics and safety. We appreciate your feedback and hope that the following information provides further insight into the project.
The existing 12kV distribution line is nearing the end of its useful life and requires replacement. Replacement in its existing alignment is not a viable option as the current location is in a heavily forested area with severely restricted access (no access roads). There is also no efficient way to conduct construction for the replacement, or future maintenance and inspection in the existing alignment. Therefore, the most efficient option is to relocate the 12kV overhead distribution line to the right of way along Walker Road.
In addition to the ability to access and maintain the powerline in the future, the realignment along Walker Road provides an opportunity for better redundancy in the system. This means that we are incorporating the ability to also access power from an additional substation, which should greatly reduce the frequency and length of unplanned outages in this area in the future.
The new poles will be wrapped with materials that protect them from failing or falling during a potential wildfire, and the new lines will be equipped with reinforced wires to improve power quality as well as avian protection devices. The overhead power lines will be placed on 45’ to 55’ steel and wood poles, similar to poles that already exist along Walker Road.
Relocation in this manner not only provides for more efficient, safe maintenance, to quickly identify, access and restore power, but also reduces the significant time and impacts related to construction. Underground construction for this project presents several challenges that make it near impossible to place this entire line underground. Challenges include but are not limited to: no ability to use blasting equipment in a granite filled area, significant tree removal, major road closures in the narrow corridor, an expanded alignment with the road curvature, and installation of numerous vaults in the roadway, also requiring APS to gain access in the future in order to maintain. Because of these challenges and the fact that the current infrastructure feeding APS customers through the area is overhead, APS would not consider undergrounding as a viable option for this project.
For more information on underground installation, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
As the project moves forward through design, permitting and construction, you’ll receive additional information related to construction activities that may impact you as well as information regarding any planned outages. APS crews will be in the area in the near future to re-stake the planned powerline alignment, the majority of which will be on the west side of the road. Construction is currently expected to begin in Spring 2024.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to improve the reliability of our system and the service we provide to the Prescott community.
For questions/concerns regarding this project, please contact our APS Construction Outreach Consultant at MakPro, Teresa Makinen, (602) 421-3069, email@example.com or Darla DeVille, APS Public Affairs Manager, at (928) 499-9135 or Darla.Deville@aps.com. Please reference work order #WE016235.