UPDATE: Trenching and electricity cable laying in Alpine Energy's Power to Timaru electricity upgrade across southern Timaru is now almost complete.
Alpine Energy would like to thank residents affected by the trenching for their co-operation.
The public is advised to remain clear of trenches while reinstatement continues.
Progress information and maps are being provided with weekly updates in newspapers, on local radio and on this website
Another phase of trenching and electricity cable laying, spanning 3km across Timaru, is due to commence Monday April 23 as Alpine Energy continues one of the biggest urban power upgrades in decades.
Trenches will be progressively opened from the central city’s Rose Street to Saltwater Creek, via a 3km route that will take in several residential areas, to allow for the laying of a new 11 kV cable to upgrade the present Redruth supply, and provide for the future development of the southern industrial area.
The project, dubbed “Power to Timaru”, is a continuation of the $10 million supply upgrade started last year that saw two 33 kV-rated cables taken to the city, which initially run at 11 kV and allow later upgrading of the city supply to 33 kV as the load grows. They came from Transpower’s substation in Old North Road to a new purpose-built substation in Heaton Street. In an extension to that project, two 11 kV cables were later taken down Heaton Street, over the railway line and on to Dawson Street in the port area.
In this project, two 11 kV cables will be taken from the Heaton/Rose Street corner to Redruth and will terminate at two existing substations, one in Rothwell Street, and another adjacent to Saltwater Creek.
Alpine Energy says the upgraded supply will significantly improve reliability and, provide additional power for the growing industrial area in that part of the city.
Alpine Energy’s operations company Netcon will be managing the work via their project manager Nick Carter. Mr Carter said the trenching, which will be along roadways just out from the kerb, will be 1.2 metres deep and 800mm wide. This will mean access to properties will be provided for a short time using steel plates across the trench. The work will be carried out in 350-metre sections in a stepping stone approach, Mr Carter said. It is expected to take until mid to late June to complete.
Trenching will begin on the corner of Heaton and Rose Streets from and 11 kV cable laid during the 33 kV project. From there the route will follow Rose Street to Victoria Street, on to King Street via a short Queen Street section and left on to Domain Avenue. From there the route will follow Keith, Flinders and Leckie Streets, along Rothwell and Shaw Streets, back on to King Street to Saltwater Creek and then along the creek’s edge to the existing substation. Alpine Energy chief executive Andrew Tombs said the 11 kV upgrade would position the southern city for its industrial, commercial and domestic needs of the future.
“A good portion of Timaru’s industrial development is on the southern side of the city and we need to get more reliable supplies than the old lines can provide to allow industry in that area to grow,” Mr Tombs said.
Mr Carter said there would be some inconvenience to the public for the short period where the trenches were opened and then later filled on roadways outside private driveways and across bus stops.
“But we are aiming to minimise that with well posted advisory notices and public information packages as work progresses,” he said.
“We will avoid working at night, however one or two road crossings may require night work.
“While the travelling excavation project would be well cordoned off from the public as it moved southwards, we would remind people that there will be moving machinery and some potential hazards while the trench was open,” he said. “We urge the public to stay clear.”
Regular updates and project information will be delivered to letterboxes, broadcasted on local radio stations, and maps showing the work route and progress will be published in The Timaru Herald, in local community newspapers as well as on Alpine Energy’s website: www.alpineenergy.co.nz/power_to_timaru