The line, which stretches over three miles in the Verdugo Mountains starting above Brand Park and ending in Montrose near Crescenta Valley Park, is supported by 14 electrical towers erected in 1955.
Through the years, rain, water run-off, and dying vegetation have caused the soil underneath each of the towers' four footings to erode, potentially making the towers unstable. The foundation piers need to be repaired to ensure that they are stable to hold the weight of both the towers and the wires that transmit electric power.
To reinforce the footings, GWP will replace the soil that has eroded naturally, by installing wire cages with rocks and soil at each footing. The towers will also be re-painted and the existing 3.3 miles of transmission wires will be replaced.
Due to terrain which is inaccessible by land vehicles, GWP will be using helicopters to access the towers to deliver the footing material and string the new wires. Starting in July customers in the area of Brand Park may hear and see helicopters flying above the mountains carrying heavy loads of equipment and materials. From time to time, access to hiking trails will be closed for safety reasons. GWP is working with the Glendale Park Rangers to ensure residents are informed of trail closures
GWP is also taking this opportunity to upgrade the transmission line to transmit at 69 kV instead of 34.5 kV. This upgrade will increase the capacity of the line to improve the reliability of the electric service. The upgraded line will enable GWP to provide the capacity needed to support the electric load when other transmission lines that connect Montrose, Western, Bel-Aire and Glorietta substations become unavailable due to problems. Such an upgrade will minimize the possibility of long outages, according to a city spokesman.
"The upgrading of the line to a 69 kV system will increase capacity of the line by two and-a-half times, improving our reliability," said Ramon Abueg, Electrical Services Administrator. "This transmission line allows GWP's electric system to provide redundant transmission service to the northern Glendale service area."
The project will be partially funded by FEMA, since it was necessitated by the January 2005 storms. GWP has set up a customer hot-line for customers to call with questions or concerns, 548-3923. Customers can also visit GWP's website for more information at GlendaleWaterAndPower.com
— Charles Cooper