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PPL Plans Rebuilding of 'Key Power Line'

The Quarry-Seidersville transmission line runs from PPL's Seidersville substation in Lower Saucon Township to its Quarry substation on the Bethlehem-Freemansburg border. It serves customers in both Hellertown and the township.

PPL has announced that it plans to rebuild a "key" transmission line in the Saucon Valley area.

The Quarry-Seidersville transmission line runs between a substation in Seidersville, Lower Saucon Township, and the Quarry substation on the Bethlehem-Freemansburg border, PPL said in a news release.

"The project will make this power line much less likely to be knocked out by storm damage such as tree strikes, lightning and high winds," the company said, adding that the decision to rebuild the line is "in a direct response to the widespread, prolonged power outages following Hurricane Sandy and other major storms."

PPL said the Quarry-Seidersville line serves more than 27,800 electric customers, including customers in Bethlehem, Freemansburg, Fountain Hill, Hellertown, Lower Saucon Township, and Salisbury, Springfield, Durham, Upper Saucon and Williams townships.

"This line also serves Lehigh University and St. Luke’s Hospital," the company said.

According to PPL, features of the new transmission line that will make it more resistant to storm damage include:

  • Two overhead ground wires to protect the line from lightning strikes.
  • Fault detectors to tell operators where damage is located and help speed repairs.
  • Remotely controlled motorized switches to isolate a damaged part of the line and restore power more quickly to customers on other parts of the line.

PPL said preparatory work for the rebuilding will "begin immediately."

Pending Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval, construction is scheduled to begin next March, with completion of the project scheduled for late 2014, PPL said.

Patch Sucks April 22, 2013 at 08:56 PM
I am surprised Hellertown has not put the power lines below ground. It is a simple solution to the power outage distress that seems to happen each year with winter storms. It would certainly cost less than the disaster funds to keep fixing downed lines over and over again, and adding workers to storm restoration forces. It would also help families who are in the dark and cold each time a bad storm knocks out the power supply. If Easton, Bethlehem and other Boroughs can put the power lines below ground, so can Hellertown.
Josh Popichak April 22, 2013 at 09:25 PM
That could help, however putting the lines underground isn't necessarily the easy answer everyone wants it to be. Depending on how they're buried they can be harder to reach when there's a problem--and inevitably there will be. I'm not sure about Easton and other places throughout the Valley, but I have lived in Bethlehem (city) most of my life and never lived in a neighborhood where the lines were buried. And ultimately I'm not sure if that decision is at the municipality's discretion.
Steve April 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Before moving to the Saucon Valley my realtor warned me of two things: 1) Internet - plan to pay twice as much and get half as much speed 2) Get a generator as outages here are so common. How right he was !
Bob Linney April 23, 2013 at 12:46 AM
PPL is upgrading "Transmission" lines, which are very high voltage and are next to impossible to put below ground. The type of buried power lines you are thinking of are part of a low voltage (as low as 240 volt) "Distribution" system. Buried electric along with cable/internet and telephone lines are most frequently used in new housing developments.
Elaine Kovacs June 04, 2013 at 01:26 PM
will this include Steel City (Lower Saucon Twsp) across the river from Freemansburg? Hope so, we're always losing power

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