With Milford’s 138kV transmission lines and substation project in full swing, residents may begin to see traffic impacts due to construction along U.S. Route 113.

With Milford’s 138kV transmission lines and substation project in full swing, residents may begin to see traffic impacts due to construction along U.S. Route 113.

City Manager Richard Carmean said residents should be aware that there may be short road closures in the area of U.S. Route 113 and Del. Route 14 due to the large vehicles utilized during the installation of steel poles and a 138kV transmission lines that will serve as a second back-up power source for the city.

Crews will be working on the shoulders along U.S. Route 113, Route 14 past Williamsville Road, Canterbury Road, Airport Road, 10th Street and North Walnut Street as they complete the new substation located on Del. Route 14.

Currently the city’s power grid receives its energy sources from a substation located in the area of Wilkins Road and Elks Lodge Road. The need for a new substation and looped transmission lines will ensure that if there is damage to the existing substation, poles or distribution lines, there will be a back-up source to avoid customers losing electricity.

“If we have a problem, like a faulty fuse, a pole hit or a line go down, when we’re only feeding those lines through one way from the present substation … that could knock out a large portion of our customers,” Carmean explained. “This way, that portion would also be fed in a loop so we wouldn’t lose nearly as many customers in an outage. It also gives us the ability for future growth.”

Planning and engineering for the electric project began in 2008, although construction did not begin until this year. Work on the transmission line will begin Dec. 1, possibly affecting traffic along U.S. Route 113.

The project is expected to be complete by March 15, 2014.

The project is budgeted at a total cost of $8.6 million; the rest of the project will be supported by electric reserve funds, Carmean said. That cost includes the construction of the poles, wiring, the substation and connections to the system from the substation.

Funds for the substation and transmission lines project are funded in part by a $15 million bond issue from the USDA, which was awarded for three citywide improvement projects encompassing sewer, water and electric upgrades.

The new substation, transmission lines and electric distribution system improvements will be funded by a $5.5 million portion of that USDA loan and the remainder will be supplemented through electric reserve funds.

Milford’s electric department expects that this new substation and transmission lines will allow for better electric service, less outages and greater stability within the system, said Milford Electric Department Administrative Assistant Jennifer Anderson.

“Having two substations means more flexibility for the operation of the system for the electric department and its crews,” Anderson said. “Any maintenance and repairs to either substation, or the entire distribution system, would occur with minimal, if any, disruption in power to residents.”

Carmean agrees that adding a new substation and transmission lines is vital to enhancing current electric services while also ensuring that there is room for growth within the city.

“The customers will see future guarantee of less outages,” Carmean said. “It strengthens the backbone of the whole system.”