Port Angeles awards contracts related to electrical lines

Council votes unanimously for tree trimming, cable replacement

PORT ANGELES — The city of Port Angeles has awarded a pair of contracts to maintain electrical connections above and below ground.

The council voted unanimously Oct. 6 to award a $125,000 contract to Joaquin’s Tree Expert Company of Puyallup to trim trees near electrical lines and a $113,152 contract to BZR Power Division of Philomath, Ore., to replace underground cables that failed between the 1500 and 1800 blocks of East Front Street.

City Manager Nathan West said the tree-trimming contract would prevent trees from interfering with power lines during winter storms.

“There’s particular expertise required in trimming these trees in that they are very close to the power lines, and we need to ensure that the trimming is safely done,” West told the council in a virtual meeting.

West added that the city had earned “Tree City USA” designation and was working to improve its stewardship of the urban canopy. He said he planned to update the council on the city’s tree stewardship in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, several underground electric cables have failed in recent years between 1527-1807 East Front Street, Public Works and Utilities Director Thomas Hunter said.

“These cables are installed in rigid steel conduit which have corroded and lost structural integrity,” Hunter said in a council memo.

BZR Power Division, the lowest of six out-of-county bidders on the project, will install new cables in non-metallic conduit and move existing overhead primary distribution lines underground.

“Ultimately, we need to invest in our electrical infrastructure, making sure that we’re being more proactive in these failure areas,” West said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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