Utility’s electric projects growing: From Exit 20 to pastry shop
by RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Aug 04, 2014 | 2097 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Efforts to keep up with community growth are scattering Cleveland Utilities electric crews — linemen, engineers, IT specialists, traffic technicians and contractors — to all corners of town in hopes of providing the juice that powers progress.

From utility relocations at the massive Exit 20 reconfiguration and facelift to drawing up preliminary plans for new business connections to continued work on the complicated improvements at Benton Pike and Durkee Road, CU personnel are being spread thin just as the sultry “Dog Days” of summer are approaching

In three key site plan updates issued during a recent formal session of the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities, Electric Division Manager of Operations Dean Watson — reporting for Bart Borden, vice president — highlighted ongoing work on an oncology medical building, a downtown condominium and a 25th Street doughnut and coffee shop.

The site plan reports included:

- Engineering is working with contractors on the construction of the new 9,640-square-foot Tennessee Oncology medical building on North Ocoee Street. The facility sits adjacent to the new sports medicine facility and will require a primary underground conductor and a pad-mounted transformer. He said a spare conduit was installed during the construction of the original medical building in anticipation of future development. CU is awaiting further information on electric load requirements.

- Preliminary talks are still underway on the final design of the former Five Points Pharmacy building in downtown Cleveland. “Discussions thus far have indicated a possible five-unit apartment upstairs with a commercial development in the downstairs area,” Watson indicated. “Engineering and the city are still in talks with the owners regarding the traffic signal strain pole located in front of the building.”

Cost estimates have been provided for the strain pole relocation; however, no agreements have as yet been reached.

“Electric service would most likely approach the southeast corner of the building and be fed from the existing SETHRA (Southeast Tennessee Human Resources Agency) facilities just south of the property,” he said.

- Engineering currently is working with the developers of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts located at the old 25th Street car wash location at the corner of 25th and Guthrie Drive. He said a proposed 2,880-square-foot retail building is also slated to be constructed along with the doughnut shop. CU is awaiting information on electric load requirements.

Watson also provided updates on a variety of ongoing Electric Division projects and initiatives. Some included:

- Pointe General Contractors has completed work on punch list items for a building renovation (old Colloms Plumbing structure) that will be used by CU for equipment storage and other needs. A standby generator has been ordered from Cummins South and will be installed by CU electricians to complete the building’s renovations.

- Little progress has been made over the past month on the transmission line relocation project along Stone Lake Road; however, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has now been billed for $37,660, which is a large portion of the line-design costs as performed for CU by Cannon & Cannon, a traffic engineering firm from Knoxville.

- After yearlong negotiations, CU engineering has reached agreements with a Merck corporate legal team that will allow the local utility to cross Merck property with new underground feed (lines). Once installed, the underground feed will “... greatly improve the reliability of electrical service to the [sewer] pump station” located behind Merck on Michigan Avenue Road. Watson said the overhead line feeding the sewer pump station has become “... increasingly troublesome due to the inaccessibility caused by beaver dams and the resulting wetland area and undergrowth.”

- Engineering continues to work with Lee University and homeowners along Church Street near the new Arts & Communications building to convert approximately 600 feet of overhead primary [power line] to underground. “The recently released work order will also include decorat[ive] street lighting, and further CU work is now contingent on work currently being completed by the electrical contractor working for Lee University,” he said.

- Engineering is working with contractors to provide electrical service to two separate medical buildings. One is located in the shopping center adjacent to Publix on Paul Huff Parkway. The second building is located in Spring Creek whose size is planned at 6,000 square feet.

- The Line Department recently completed the replacement of two 80-foot poles and one 75-foot pole behind the Bradley County Justice Center in the 69kV right of way, taking advantage of the line section being de-energized for scheduled testing at Springbrook Substation. Two of the poles were found to be in need of replacement during the recently completed wood-pole testing and treating program.

In traffic lighting, which also falls under the auspices of the CU Electric Division, updates included:

- TDOT has reviewed CU’s conceptual signal redesign at Ocoee and Central streets and has requested the city provide a full intersection modification plan with ADA ramps, crosswalks and pedestrian signals. The city’s engineering office will draw up the final prints with input from CU and will then resubmit the design plan to TDOT.

- NABCO Electric has relocated the northbound ramp signal at Exit 20 to a temporary location east of the existing signal. The southbound ramp signal will be relocated as well before traffic is moved to the new section of the bridge.

- Stansell Electric has installed the traffic signal masts and several arms at the Benton Pike and Durkee Road intersection. “There appears to be code clearance issues with several of the arms and the existing electrical facilities due to the heights of the masts and mounting positions of the arms,” Watson explained. “CU engineering personnel are discussing the length of the arms, and the distance from the arms to the overhead facilities with both TDOT and Stansell Electric.”

- CU engineering personnel programmed the remaining two intersections with the new Opticom GPS pre-emption and programmed nine firetrucks to complete the Opticom installation. This is a system that will allow firetrucks to travel safely — and more expeditiously — through congested intersections by manually interrupting traffic signal cycles. “Programming the firetrucks provides unique identifier information that can help with future troubleshooting or generating reports of which trucks and intersections utilize the system most, enabling the system to be adjusted for maximum efficiency,” Watson cited.

- CU engineering has worked with the utility’s IT department to set up an Ethernet network for traffic communications. Seven intersections will now utilize an Ethernet switch to communicate with IQ Central (communications office). “The Ethernet network will reduce the maintenance requirements common with serial communications, and provide much faster network speeds,” Watson said.

In other developments during the CU board meeting, the governing body:

- Approved a change order with W&O Construction Company Inc. for an increase in the contract amount by $1,055. The change increases the contract amount from $99,300 to $100,355 and completes the UV Disinfection Project at Waterville Springs.

- Approved a group purchasing resolution and agreement with other public utilities in the Tennessee Valley region.

- Approved a purchase order with Badger Meter Inc. in the amount of $94,162.50 for the purchase of AMI-ready water meters for Fiscal Year 2015. The meters will be shipped in quantities of 150 each month. These will be used during CU’s ongoing conversion to AMI water meters.

- Approved the revised Sewer Use Ordinance for influent protection criteria and local limits recalculation.

- The CU board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Tom Wheeler Training Center.