Line conversion improves efficiency

CEC Linemen

Housing developments are steadily being added in north Bismarck and traffic continues to increase. To ease congestion on roads that lead to homes, schools and churches in the area, north Washington Street is being converted from a two-lane to a four-lane road from Calgary Avenue to 57th Avenue.

Some overhead distribution poles were in the way of construction, so the city of Bismarck contacted Capital Electric Cooperative and asked for them to be removed. In June, line crews started the process of converting overhead power lines and poles to underground.

Rick Dressler, operations supervisor at Capital Electric, says the cooperative converted about a mile-and-a-quarter of overhead distribution to underground on Washington Street and some surrounding neighborhoods. He says the project will improve the electric distribution system’s functionality as well as give it visual appeal.

“Instead of removing only the poles that were in the way and having the system run underground, then overhead, and then underground and overhead again, we decided to bury it all,” he said. “It looks better.”

The system will also be more efficient. The linemen added several padmount switches that will eventually tie in with two new circuits that will feed out of the cooperative’s relatively new Horizon Substation in northwest Bismarck. In the event of a power outage, electricity can be rerouted from another source so members won’t have to wait for electric service to be restored. The cooperative can also take a stretch of line out of service for maintenance or change the feed of electric service, and members will not experience a disruption in service.

“Having the option to feed lines from various sources is very beneficial,” Dressler says. “Especially this time of year when it’s hot, and overloads are a possibility.”

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