AP&T proposes plan for Beach Road Power Resatoration
June 17, 2021
Power restoration work on Beach Road could begin as soon as next week, but completion of work is likely at least a month away.
At a June 10 meeting, Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T) Haines power operations manager Lance Caldwell told neighborhood residents the company plans to work on either side of the Beach Road landslide path in the coming weeks while it waits for the removal of debris from the road.
“I’m hoping all the work past the slide and all the work before the slide is complete by the time the road is returned to normal… then it will be quick and easy to put in one emergency-status pole in the center, span across it, and energize it,” Caldwell said.
Beach Road residents have been displaced since a Dec. 2 landslide took out the road and several homes, and killed two people. Lack of power is one of the last barriers keeping many from returning home.
Caldwell estimates AP&T has two to four weeks of prep work on either side of the slide path, examining existing infrastructure for damage. The final step—installing the pole and stringing wire across—won’t happen until the road has been excavated down to its original surface.
The borough has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for road excavation with a June 22 response deadline. The RFP specifies that work be completed by July 30.
“Hopefully the weekend after (the Fourth of July) would be the most realistic (start date for road excavation), so you’re probably into the middle of July, would be the earliest time frame that I can see (for project completion),” Mayor Douglas Olerud said at the June 10 meeting.
Caldwell said once road work is complete, it should take a day or two for AP&T to install the pole. The company will then begin restoring power to individual houses, prioritizing occupied residences.
The time between now and road work completion will give residents who’ve installed generators time to bring them into compliance with code, or disconnect them, a requirement before AP&T will restore power, Caldwell said.
“If power is supplied to a residence that has a generator that’s hooked up non-code compliant, it could pose a huge safety risk (to AP&T employees working on the power line in the future),” Caldwell said.
He asked that homeowners who believe their property is ready for power contact AP&T so the company can begin restoring power to residences as soon as the pole is installed. He also asked for input from homeowners about road closures, necessitated by the narrow road and the width of the company’s truck.
“When the road does need to be closed, who would you like informed?… How much notice would be satisfactory?… And are there preferred dates and times?” he asked.
Beach Road residents in attendance expressed support for AP&T’s plan and said they would meet in the next few days to come to a consensus.
“This is really good news, and I’m glad you’re doing this and really appreciate it. And I’m perfectly happy to work around whatever times you guys have to close the road,” resident Michael Balise told Caldwell at the end of the meeting.
Beach Road resident Art Woodard said the news is something he’s been waiting for since December 2. Woodard, his wife Dawn and their malamute Gooch have been living at the Covenant Life Center since the storms.
“It’s about time,” Woodard said. “I’ve given up on being anything but patient.”
Beach Road residents can expect restoration of internet service one to two weeks after power, Caldwell said.