APS completes Mount Elden power line project

Intensive power-line infrastructure improvement work on Mount Elden reached its peak last week as Arizona Public Service (APS) crews concluded efforts atop difficult terrain for the benefit of Flagstaff-area consumers.

Replacing two dozen aging wooden poles with 19 poles made of steel, the project, lasting four years in duration, represents a major improvement for the Flagstaff region’s infrastructure. Improvements in electrical service will reinforce the power supply for communications and equipment necessary for police, fire and rescue teams in northern Arizona.

The new steel poles are rust-colored and are designed to blend with the natural vegetation in the area.

Rick Nicosia, APS operations manager for Northeast Arizona, said the aging wooden poles had “performed well for more than 40 years in an extremely harsh environment.” Nicosia estimatied the new replacement poles will last just as long.

“It feeds the communication equipment located at the top of Mount Elden,” Nicosia said. “We are rebuilding the line to ensure continued reliability – for 40 more years and beyond.”

Mount Elden, in the San Francisco Peaks situated north of Flagstaff, is a particularly steep, rock-strewn site. To complete the work safely and efficiently, APS used helicopters to transport work teams and equipment. The use of helicopters also helped to reduce environmental impact, in contrast to conventional construction methods.

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