Power and Water is continuing with the pole replacement program. Using a purpose designed and built pole cradle we will be replacing power pole bases and footings identified as nearing end of life.
The pole replacement program, ongoing since 2015, is part of our capital works program in Alice Springs.
Using a large pole cradle Power and Water and our contractors, MG Electrical will be replacing power poles identified as nearing end of life.
To complete the works safely a power interruption may be needed. Residents affected will be notified of the day, date and time via a letterbox card drop.
What to expect
A crane truck will transport the cradle to site and manoeuvre it into place. Heavy duty plastic pads will be placed on the verge for the cradle to be manoeuvred on to. This will help to spread the weight of the cradle more evenly across the verge. Once in place concrete counterweights will be added to the cradle.
The cradle will be attached to and support the pole while the base is exposed then cut and the footing removed. A new pole base will then be welded to the existing supported pole and a new concrete footing poured. The pole will continue to be supported by the cradle until the concrete has sufficiently set, about 24 hours.
The noise level in the immediate area may increase during the works.
Frequently asked questions about the works
Will there still be power interruptions when you use the cradle?
There may be a supply interruption of around four hours while the pole base and footing is removed and replaced.
It is intended to have up to four pole cradles working on the same line at one time to minimise power supply interruptions to customers.
In addition, when it is safe to do so we will undertake these works without interruptions to power supply.
How will the cradle be transported and placed at the work site?
A crane truck will be used to transport the pole cradle between sites and will give the flexibility to manoeuvre it into place on site. Heavy duty plastic pads will be placed on the verge for the cradle to be manoeuvred on to. This will help to spread the weight of the cradle more evenly on the verge. Once in place concrete counterweights will be added to the cradle.
Will I still have access to my property?
We expect the majority of works can be undertaken without disrupting property access for residents.
On occasion it may be necessary to place the cradle across a driveway or place it on the road. Should either of these placements be necessary to complete the works safely we will contact property owners and residents in the area prior to setting up the work site.
Will the cradle disrupt vehicle and foot traffic in my street?
The works will bring some disruption to vehicle and foot traffic.
If the power pole on your verge is identified for replacement we will request you not to park vehicles on the verge or the street in front of your property during the designated work times. Works may also block footpath access.
Residents will be notified via letterbox card drop where and when works are scheduled to take place.
We will have traffic and safety directional signage in place. To assist in providing a safe work site please follow all directions given.
If my verge, fence or driveway is damaged who will pay to have it repaired?
Any damage caused to verges, driveways, fences etc. as a result of the replacement works will be repaired by Power and Water once works have been completed on site and the pole cradle removed.
Frequently asked questions about the pole cradle
Why has the cradle been built?
The pole cradle was purpose designed and built to allow our Alice Springs pole replacement program to be accelerated and be more time and supply interruption efficient. Using the pole cradle we expect to increase the number of pole bases being replaced from 15-18 per month to around 35 per month.
Instead of having to disconnect the powerlines from a power pole to completely remove the pole, then replace it and reconnect the powerlines we are now able to secure the pole in place while the base and footing is removed and replaced.
How does the cradle work?
Our engineers have developed a heavy duty cradle that will be placed on the verge and support the pole while the base is cut and the footing removed. A new pole base will then be welded to the existing supported pole and a concrete footing poured. The pole will be supported by the cradle until the concrete has sufficiently set. The cradle will also have a surrounding guard to protect passers-by from work site activities.
Has the cradle been tested?
The pole cradle prototype was tested at Power and Water’s Allwright Training Facility in Darwin. Since then it has been transported to Alice Springs, where we have had the opportunity to field test it in real work situations and refinements have been made. The pole cradle worked well and fulfilled all requirements. Since those refinements were made we have had three additional pole cradles manufactured.
Where has the cradle been manufactured?
Our engineers designed the pole cradle with support from local engineering consultants and have worked with a number of local businesses to refine it.
How much does the cradle cost?
A pole cradle costs about $25000 to manufacture.
How big is the cradle?
The pole cradle stands approximately 2.5m high, 2m wide and 5m long. It is made of steel and concrete and weighs over 10 tonne. It is expected the work site required for each pole base replacement will be approximately eight meters in length and four meters wide (or full verge width) and be enclosed in a temporarily fenced area e.g. a construction site.
How will you stop vandals from accessing the cradle when you’re not there?
The site will be enclosed with temporary fencing – like a construction site.
Who can I contact about the works or the equipment being used?
Contact us by email at email@example.com or phone 1800 245 092.