Action time for next stage of lines work

After a break for winter, work on a $100 million upgrade of the national grid is set to resume in Central Otago.

This month, Transpower crews begin works on the transmission line in the Alexandra area for the next stage of the Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project.

The Pines, west of the town, will be a hive of activity and some areas will be closed to the public, or alternative routes signposted, and managed.

The works are part of Transpower’s upgrade of the national grid between Roxburgh and Livingstone, on the Roxburgh to Islington 220kV line.

Wiring crews are replacing the single electrical wire with two wires (known as duplexing) on the transmission line to increase the northward transmission capacity for New Zealand from about 600MW at present to about 1000MW.

Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project manager Neville Cole said the company was working hard to minimise the impact of the project to the public.

Work would begin early this month, and was expected to be completed next month, dependent on constraints such as weather and any further Covid-19 restrictions.

Parts of the transmission line were publicly accessible by a network of recreational tracks, trails, and Clutha river users by recreational craft.

The Alexandra section of the project — from Galloway to Earnscleugh — includes two crossing points of the Otago Central Rail Trail (at Dunstan and Galloway Rds), The Pines, the Millennium Track and the walking and 4WD trails on the north side of the Clutha River where the transmission line is overhead.

Members of the public would see heavy trucks and equipment, materials, hurdles, signage, crews and their vehicles, and walk-through containers (for the rail trail).

‘‘To ensure the health and safety of the general public and crews there will be no public access to the transmission line corridor.

‘‘Public access will still be available to other areas with alternative routes signposted, and traffic management in place for the community,’’ Mr Cole said.

The following areas would be closed: the transmission line corridor south of State Highway 8 to the Central Otago District Council cleanfill site at the end of Maclean Rd; walkways at the end of Wildflower Way and Pines Rd that access The Pines; and vehicle access to the 4WD track next to the Dunstan Park development (pedestrian and cycle access would remain available).

Walkers, cyclists, horse riders and drivers of 4WD vehicles would see stop/go traffic management where the transmission line crossed the following areas: The Millennium Track; the walking and 4WD trails on the north side of the Clutha river; and either side of State Highway 8 at The Pines.

Mr Cole said these areas would be open to the public, but with some stop/go access management by Transpower’s contractors to keep people safe.

The rail trail would remain open, and special walk-through containers would be in place to allow the community to move through the area.

People were asked to beware of work overhead on the transmission line, follow any instructions of the work crews and respect the closed areas.

The lines project is a significant part of Transpower’s support to shift New Zealand to electrification and a low-carbon economy by 2030.



This is part of the project to export power from Manapouri to the North Is, isn't it?

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