PG&E to upgrade power lines nearbyBy Michele Leung
Beginning Oct. 13, helicopters will be flying over the county as PG&E crews work on transmission towers along Highway 101 between San Mateo and Brisbane.
"Motorists may notice helicopters hovering close to transmission towers, but there's no need for concern as it is work being done to improve reliability and deliver more electricity to the northern Peninsula," said PG&E project manager Alain Billot.
The project's objective is to convert an existing 60,000-volt line into an upgraded 115,000-volt line. Eventually, an additional 135 megawatts can be delivered, which is enough to power 130,000 homes.
From Oct. 13 to 27, helicopters will be flying between Burlingame and Millbrae. From Oct. 28 to Dec. 15, crews will work between Millbrae and Brisbane. From Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, 2004, the area between Burlingame and San Mateo will get the workers' attention.
No towers are being moved, added or removed. Crews will be modifying six towers and working within existing substations. Helicopter work will continue through February.
Work inside the substations is slated to be finished on June 1, 2004.
Project officials say using helicopters will not disrupt the wetlands and sensitive open space that is home to rare species along the Bay and on San Bruno Mountain.
The lines are part of a set of three towers that run parallel from the San Mateo Substation near Coyote Point north to the Martin Substation in Brisbane. The other five sets of lines are already 115,000 volts.
They are 12 miles long and run from San Mateo through Burlingame, Millbrae, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Daly City and Brisbane, as well as unincorporated San Mateo County.
The lines cross Highway 101 three times. PG&E will work with Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol to temporarily stop traffic for a few moments before reopening the freeway once the rewiring takes place.
Stringing the new wires across only takes a few moments, PG&E officials say. It will be done between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday mornings.
Copyright ©2003 Peninsula Examiner. Published 10/13/2003.