Residents in Morro Bay and Los Osos will be seeing a fascinating sight over the next several weeks, as Pacific Gas & Electric conducts maintenance on its high voltage power lines and towers.
PG&E announced that it would use a helicopter to ferry workers along the 230,000-volt lines at the steel towers conducting maintenance tasks. The work started April 13 and is slated to end May 25.
“PG&E has scheduled essential electrical transmission tower maintenance work,” the company’s news release said, “to include helicopter operations, weather permitting, beginning near Atascadero Road and moving in the vicinity of Highway 41 west toward Morro Bay along one PG&E transmission corridor, then turning south and continuing along a second transmission line near Highway 1 in Los Osos, ending near Benjamino Way in San Luis Obispo.” And, “Work generally will be conducted between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.”
PG&E said they didn’t anticipate any interruptions in electrical service and if there is any change, affected customers would be notified. “Customers within a 2-mile radius of the work zone are being notified by mail and automated telephone messages about the potential for helicopter and/or construction noise.”
The Highway Patrol is going to deal with any traffic controls that are needed in the area of South Bay Boulevard and Hwy 1 but didn’t know at this time when this would happen.
“The health and safety of our customers, our employees and the communities that we serve is PG&E’s primary responsibility,” said Mark Mesesan, PG&E spokesman. “The Governor’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order exempts essential workers in critical infrastructure sectors, including energy.”
The maintenance work won’t just be helicopters and power washers. “Essential maintenance is required to reinforce several transmission tower structures, including adding foundation reinforcements and steel bracing on tower legs. Also, optical ground wire [fiber] requires replacement in order to maintain communication networks used by PG&E and approved competitive local exchange carriers [CLEC].”