CNMI Utilities Corporation To Replace All Wooden Power Poles With Concrete

Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for Typhoon Soudelor repairs pays for first shipment

By Junhan B. Todiño 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 5, 2017) – The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will replace all wooden power poles with concrete ones, CUC board member Joe Torres said.

In March, he said they received the first shipment of 514 concrete poles, the funding for which came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency which has been helping CUC repair its facilities damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in Aug. 2015.

Torres said they will be installing hardened wind-resistant concrete poles, especially on the primary lines.

The replacement will not be limited to Saipan, he said, adding they will eventually replace all wooden power poles in the CNMI.

CUC power division electrical engineer Adrian Reyes said damaged power poles and those installed temporarily are being replaced with concrete poles that are in compliance with the U.S. Rural Electrification Act.

The concrete power poles are of different sizes — 35 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet and 55 feet — and will be installed depending on the terrain of the area, Reyes said.

It takes an hour and a half to replace a power pole — to replace five, CUC usually dispatches an average of 23 personnel to operate two cranes, a lowboy, a backhoe and six bucket trucks, he added.

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