SaskPower wood pole replacement program coming to P.A. this summer

(SaskPower/Facebook)

SaskPower announced its 2019 wood pole program Monday, and Prince Albert is on the Crown corporation’s list.

The work is part of a ten-year cycle to extend the life of infrastructure, save money and ensure reliability, SaskPower said in a press release.

This year, more than 113,000 wood power poles will be inspected in the Unity, Kipling, Lumsden, Nipawin, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert areas.

Inspections will involve crews looking for physical damage, as well as signs of decay or carpenter ant infestations. When possible, poles will be repaired or reinforced. If they can’t be fixed, poles will be marked for replacement.

“This is the seventh year of this 10-year cycle that will ultimately see all of our 1.2 million wood power poles inspected,” said Tim Eckel, SaskPower vice-president of asset management, planning & sustainability in a press release.

“This work will help to nearly double the life of the poles, and will also save money – it costs on average 50 times more to replace a pole than to maintain it.”

Work in the City of Prince Albert will occur from August 1 until Sept. 15, while Nipawin and area, including Cumberland House and Carrot River, will see SaskPower come through between Sept. 15 and Oct. 30.

Crews will attempt to stay within the SaskPower right-of-way as much as possible, however, workers may need to access private property in some cases.

Contractors will wear high-visibility clothing and carry identification with them. Power outages will not be required to complete this work.

The cost of the 2019 wood power pole program is $10 million.