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New transmission lines being installed between Kitsap, Bainbridge

POULSBO — Puget Sound Energy has begun construction of an electric system improvement project at Agate Pass between the north end of Bainbridge Island and the Suquamish area of Kitsap County.

Over the coming months, two lattice steel towers will be replaced with four weathered steel poles, and two existing transmission lines will be replaced, Puget Sound Energy reported.

There will be intermittent traffic delays during construction, including some road closures that could take up to an hour or longer, PSE spokesman Ray Lane said. PSE will try to provide ample notice of any traffic disruptions around Agate Pass; Lane advised residents to go to psebainbridge.com/news for updates about the project.

Lane said closures will likely not occur during peak commute times.

"The crews will steer clear of any disruptions during the commutes," Lane emailed. "And no major delays are expected during anytime along State Route 305; side roads — such as Reitan Road NE on the Bainbridge side — would be impacted the most."

Work crews are busy moving equipment into position this week, along with removing some trees and brush clearing. Then, right after Labor Day weekend, the big work begins.

The rusty lattice towers currently in place were built in the 1960s, and they’ve reached the end of their lifespan, Puget Sound Energy reported. These towers are crucial to Bainbridge Island since they support the only two medium-capacity transmission lines that carry power from the mainland.

The new poles be stronger than the lattice towers, and separating the two lines so they’re not on the same structure will improve system reliability. Each new steel pole will be 140 feet tall.

The cost of the project is in the $3.5 million to $4.5 million range, according to Lane.

Construction Timeline

Week of Sept. 1: Tower foundations put into place, which is a process expected to last up to 8 days. The concrete foundations need to cure for up to 4 weeks before the new poles can be set.

Early to mid-October: New steel poles are fit into position. New transmission wires are then strung, and work begins on tearing down the old lattice towers.

Late October: Construction and installation is expected to be completed.

Mid-November: Worksite restored to its original condition

 

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