It may be difficult to see what role an electric utility plays in a street construction project. But when you consider the network of poles and wires weaving around Southern California city streets, it becomes vital that construction is coordinated with a utility’s infrastructure. And when a project spans multiple construction sites across 35 miles of busy city streets, the timing of the work is critical.
That’s the case with the $1.7 billion Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) Project and its work with Southern California Edison (SCE). ACE seeks to alleviate traffic in East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley by making improvements on the roads that cross rail routes that extend from downtown Los Angeles to San Bernardino County.
ACE is actually several projects, with complexities at each work location because of how the roads intersect with the rail lines and the poles, wires and other equipment needed to provide power to the nearby homes and businesses.
“To sort through these complexities requires a close work relationship with all affected parties, and in particular, Southern California Edison,” said Mark Christoffels, chief executive officer of ACE.
SCE and ACE are currently working together on a $120 million effort on a section of the ACE project on Nogales Street in the City of Industry and parts of unincorporated Los Angeles County. To date, all milestones for this section of the project have been met.
“I truly appreciate all the individuals who helped us meet crucial project milestones to allow our agency to maintain our construction schedule,” said Christoffels.
The Nogales Street site is the most dangerous intersection of road and rail in California, and third in the country. ACE’s work will create a new underpass so commuters can avoid the rail line all together. Within about two square miles around the site are transmission and distribution lines, underground lines and a substation that all require work to accommodate the construction.
The team spent months planning and constructing temporary locations for power lines and equipment from the nearby substation. SCE crews are working around-the-clock to lessen any impact on commuters.
“It is really a team effort,” said David Seeley, who oversees the work for SCE. “We have crews on the ground and planners in the service center all working together to make sure our work is done safely and in the timeframe required by ACE.”
SCE’s work will run through 2014 and pause as the ACE project completes the road under the line. After that’s completed, crews will go back out and install permanent locations for the equipment that was relocated.
In addition to the Nogales Street project, there are two projects in construction and five more to follow over the next two years — all within SCE’s service area as the collaboration between the utility and ACE continues.
“SCE’s efforts to help deliver these projects in an efficient and timely manner are greatly appreciated,” said Christoffels.