LIPA Implements Program to Inspect & Repair Transmission Lines Along LIRR
Three-Phase Effort Will Inspect 130 Miles of Transmission Lines & 29
Substations Aerial Inspections Will Expedite Process
Uniondale, NY – March 6, 2007 – The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) today announced that it has begun an aggressive three-phase inspection and repair program to prevent the recurrence of wires from its transmission system falling on Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) tracks and causing service disruptions for the Railroad.
The program, developed in consultation with the LIRR, will use both aerial and ground-level inspection procedures to complete detailed inspections of some 130 miles of LIPA’s transmission system that runs along LIRR rights of way in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties.Â Also included in the inspection program, will be 17 rectifier stations that
belong to the LIRR that LIPA’s transmission system interconnects with, and 12 LIPA-owned substations that interconnect with the Railroad’s electric supply system on Long Island.
Weather permitting it will take about 3 weeks to complete the inspection of 30 miles of “high priority” electric transmission system sections that run along the Railroad’s rights of way from the Queens/Nassau border to Seaford.Â This segment of the LIRR includes the sections near the Valley Stream and Seaford railroad stations where LIPA transmission system static wires fell last month and the Far Rockaway and Long Beach branches of the Railroad as well.
As the inspections progress, LIPA will work in cooperation with the LIRR to schedule track access to make all electric transmission system repairs that may be needed with as little disruption as possible to the Railroad’s commuter operation.
“We have given this inspection and repair program our highest priority,” said LIPA CEO and President Richard M. Kessel. “While we have had only two non-storm-related incidents where non-electrified static wires from our transmission system have come down across LIRR tracks disrupting service, it’s imperative that we do everything possible to identify any potential problems and make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.
“At the same time, we look forward to continuing our joint efforts with the Railroad in the weeks ahead so we can complete all of the projected inspections and make any necessary repairs in a way that minimizes the possibility of disrupting commuter service operations,” said Mr. Kessel.
“Additionally, we have been working with the Railroad to develop and implement a new response procedure to downed wire incidents that will help coordinate and expedite the joint efforts ofÂ both organizations to minimize the duration of service disruptions while quickly restoring commuter service,” said Mr. Kessel
“I am pleased that LIPA is moving forward with a plan to inspect their infrastructure and make repairs where needed,” said Raymond P. Kenny, LIRR Acting President. “We will work cooperatively with LIPA to ensure that these inspections and repairs can take place expeditiously, to minimize the chances of any further wire-related service disruptions for Railroad customers.Â In the event of a recurrence, we will count on LIPA’s improved response protocol to provide a realistic time-frame for the restoration of service.Â This will allow the LIRR to make informed operating decisions and keep customers updated on what to expect.”
The Three-Phase Inspection & Repair Plan
* Inspect all 17 of the LIRR’s Rectifier Stations along the 30 mile section of high priority rights of way to determine if there are any connection points with LIPA’s transmission system that need to be repaired or replaced.Â This inspection phase was completed by Friday, March 2.Â In addition to the permanent repair work previously identified for the two static wire sections that fell near the Valley Stream station last month, the Phase One inspections found that 2 “dead end” connections near Floral Park, and 3 “dead end” connections near Lynbrook
need to be remade.Â Working in coordination with the Railroad, this repair work will begin within days, and is estimated to be completed in about 2 weeks.
* Conduct an aerial inspection with a helicopter fitted with high-technology equipment designed to take detailed photographs of all of the wires and other transmission system components that run along the 30 miles of high priority rights of way.Â This will include the connections with over 600 towers that carry LIPA’s transmission system along the rights of way.Â It will take about 3 weeks to complete this inspection phase.Â An appropriate work schedule will be organized in coordination with the Railroad to expedite any repairs to LIPA’s system that will require working near the LIRR’s tracks.
* As the Railroad’s Rectifier stations and LIPA’s transmission system are inspected, work will begin on replacing any transmission or static wire connection points that need immediate attention.Â This phase is underway and will take about 2 weeks to complete and another 3 to 4 weeks for repairs.
* Conduct aerial inspections of 100 miles of LIPA’s transmission system that runs along other rights of way in Nassau and Suffolk counties. This inspection will take 5 to 6 weeks to complete. Repairs will be scheduled
depending upon need and will be coordinated with the Railroad.
* Inspect 12 LIPA substations that interconnect with the Railroad at various locations around the system.Â These substations are routinely inspected by LIPA once every 4 to 5 weeks.
Haverfield Helicopters of Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania will perform the aerial inspections.Â Haverfield conducts electric transmission and distribution inspections for electric utilities around the country. They began the aerial inspections on Saturday, March 3, and will hover directly over LIPA’s transmission system to capture the detailed
inspection photos that will pinpoint needed repairs.Â The individuals conducting the aerial inspections from the helicopter are highly trained electric system technicians.
The funds for any repairs needed to LIPA’s transmission system will come from existing capital budget funds that have been identified for anticipated repairs of this nature.
Of the 7 incidents that occurred in 2005 and 2006 that involved LIPA wires interfering with LIRR operations, 6 were directly related to storms that brought down trees or tree branches that in turn brought down some of LIPA’s distribution wires across or near LIRR tracks; 1 incident was a non-weather event involving a LIPA distribution wire.
The 3 incidents in 2007 involved static wires for the first time.Â One static wire broke mid-span and came down across the LIRR tracks near the Seaford station due to bad weather conditions on St. Valentine’s Day. Two non-weather incidents occurred near the Valley Stream station on different occasions. A device interconnecting LIPA’s transmission system to a LIRR rectifier station failed on February 2, and a clamp holding a
static wire to a termination point failed near the Valley Stream station on February 20.
LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric utility, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens.Â LIPA is the 3rd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of customers served and 6th largest in terms of electricity delivered.Â In 2006, LIPA out performed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State in all three major reliability categories.Â LIPA does not provide natural
gas service or own any on-island generating assets.Â More information about LIPA can be found online at: www.lipower.org.
The MTA Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying over 282,000 customers each weekday on 735 daily trains.Â Chartered in 1834, it is also the oldest railroad still operating under its original name.Â Throughout that time, the LIRR has been an essential component of the region’s transportation
infrastructure, leading to the development of the Long Island communities it serves and providing a gateway to the economic growth of the region.Â A subsidiary of New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the MTA Long Island Rail Road marked its 170th Anniversary in 2004.Â More information about the LIRR can be found at
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