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Underground Project Afoot in West End

Electric lines and transformers get buried under West End roads.

Workers rip up West Beech Street to install an underground system of primary electrical lines and transformers. (Photo: Joe Kellard)
Workers rip up West Beech Street to install an underground system of primary electrical lines and transformers. (Photo: Joe Kellard)

Workers are digging up West End roads in an effort to install electrical systems underground throughout the neighborhood after Hurricane Sandy.

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Mike Alvich, a foreman for Hawkeye, the company hired to perform the work, said the project involves burying primary electrical lines and transformers under roads to better protect the systems during storms.

Workers are in the midst of installing pipes, through which the electrical lines will pass, on West Beech Street from Ohio to Georgia avenues. Westbound traffic on West Beech was being rerouted north on to Georgia, as of Wednesday.

“We expect to have that work completed by Friday,” Alvich told Patch.

Workers will then perform the same work on West Beech from Maryland to Indiana avenues on Dec. 16 and 17, and then from Arizona to New York avenues on Dec. 18, 19, and 20.

“There’s a possibility that we might be done by Friday the 20th,” Alvich said.

If the pipe installation stays on schedule, the electrical lines and transformers can be installed the week after Christmas, Alvich noted.

“I know it’s a problem now for people,” he said of the necessary road work, “but when we’re all done it’s going to be a big help during storms.”

Mark Gross, a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority, said National Grid hired Hawkeye on LIPA’s behalf to perform the work.  
Lobster December 12, 2013 at 07:20 AM
"Mark Gross, a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority, said National Grid hired Hawkeye on LIPA’s behalf to perform the work." Neither LIPA nor National Grid could do the work, a third party has to be called in? The new system not only has to be water proof, the system must be salt water resistant -- a virtual impossibility as salt water always has an electrolysis issue. (I wonder what the shelf life of a buried in beach sand transformer is ?) And the price tag?? Good luck Westenders.
Eddie December 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM
National Grid hires contractors for capital projects to avoid the cost of their own union labor. I'm sure the subgrade system will be water and salt resistant. That's why they bury them.
Mike Cogg December 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM
WTF was this prior to the storm?
Lamice Denton December 14, 2013 at 03:43 PM
What about the canals & the East End areas? we were without electricity for weeks!!!

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