OCEAN CITY — Delmarva Power will be upgrading underground electric cable in sections of Ocean City beginning in the spring and lasting until the end of 2014.
The project will cost approximately $3 million and should improve reliability of electric service though the actual upgrade will mean planned power outages and some other minor disruption.
Cable will be upgraded along parts or all of 32nd Street, Penguin Drive, Skipjack Lane, Anchorage Way, Windjammer Lane, 94th Street, Rusty Anchor Road, Mooring Road, Bradley Road and Dory Road. Delmarva Power will also be replacing some pad mount transformers and relocating switch gear near 32nd Street to prevent water and salt damage.
“The current underground lines in these areas have experienced a lot of wear over the years, so it is time to replace the original cables,” said John Allen, Delmarva Power Region Vice President. “Projects such as these are an integral part of our annual reliability enhancement program.”
Even though they’re well protected, underground cables are still subject to wear and tear, damage that can be worsened by factors like heat in the summer as well as heavy use. Wear and tear can impact underground cable service even more than aboveground due to the difficulty in reaching the subterranean lines.
“If there is a cable break or a cable fault, the tendency is that those outages are sometimes a little bit longer than an outage that occurs because of a problem in an overhead line simply because it takes longer to find where the problem is underground,” said Delmarva Power Media Relations Manager Matt Likovich,
The installation of the new cable should reduce the chances of outages in the affected neighborhoods in the future. Work in the area around 32nd Street should be completed by this April while work around 94th Street is scheduled to begin in 2015. Replacement will be done during the daylight hours and will include some planned power outages.
“The only disruption would be that there are going to be some planned outages of several hours, and we will notify homeowners about any outages in advance. We’ll let them know so that they can be prepared,” ” said Likovich.
There may also be some minor “digging and trenching,” he added, and the removal of some vegetation around transformers. Any private property that is disturbed will be restored at the end of each project.
In addition to this reliability project, Likovich confirmed that Delmarva Power is entering the final stages of work on the 138th Street substation in Ocean City. Construction is finished but sound measurements are still being tested to make sure that nearby residential properties will not be disturbed by the expanded substation.