Avista to Bury Power Lines
Field Review of Avista's Plan to Underground Transmission Line - Geoff Harvey 02/23/2023
This morning Will Neal and I met with Avista representatives, Dave James and Marshall Law concerning the company’s plans to place underground electrical transmission lines serving Hayden Lake’s South shore communities.
We had reviewed the plans, but the tour certainly opened my eyes to the extent of the project. The plan is to place underground the transmission line between near the bottom of 15th Street where it goes up the hill into the Highlands Community across to the “water tower park” up in the Highlands Community and then down the hill following Dalton Irrigation’s water pipeline easement to East Hayden Lake Road and along the north side of the road to the Y where East Hayden Lake and Upper Hayden Lake Roads diverge. This is roughly a half-mile in length.
The transmission line that will be placed underground is that section where many of the power outages afflicting the south shore have their origin due to falling trees. The line will be bored under roads but trenched over much of the route at a targeted 3 and a half feet depth. We asked about underground cable reliability and were informed that modern power cables have very high reliability which is only improved by being underground and out of the elements.
The project has an estimated $480,000 price tag with half being footed by Avista and half by federal infrastructure improvement funds routed from a state grant program. Evidently Avista applied for three projects and this one succeeded.
The company is in the process of finalizing easements. Avista plans to implement the actual construction work in early June to be completed by Fall 2023.