Shoring up Melbourne CBD’s underground power network

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Electricity distributor CitiPower is carrying out an inspection of its extensive underground pits in Melbourne’s CBD to ensure they remain strong in high traffic areas. 

Since June, crews have been inspecting the underground pits to identify any remediation that may be required and are on target to completing more than 40 inspections by November.

The inspection takes about two hours and involves our underground testers opening the pit and conducting a thermal scan. A laser imaging scan (known as LiDAR) is taken to create a 3D image of the pit and a civil engineer conducts a visual inspection to identify any repairs that are needed. 

CitiPower head of maintenance network services Marcus Olive said the works would occur at night to minimise impact to nearby residents and businesses.

“The high volume of foot and vehicle traffic in the city can create wear and tear on the interior and lid of the pits, which are commonly situated on roads and footpaths,” he said.

“Our inspection and maintenance program is about making sure CitiPower pits are safe for the millions of people and vehicles that come through Melbourne’s CBD each year, with each pit housing high voltage cables that provide power to local residents and businesses.”

Mr Olive said that due to the location of the pits, and to allow crews to safely complete the work, there may be some minor disruptions to traffic, parking and public transport but power would not be affected. 

“We thank Melburnians for their patience during this time and we will minimise the impact as much as possible,” Mr Olive said.

CitiPower will keep any customers directly affected by the works informed ahead of the start of works, with traffic controllers and signage in place to ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists in changed traffic conditions.

Upon completion of the works, Powercor will reinstate roads and footpaths to their original condition. 

 

CitiPower has a large underground network of cables and delivers electricity to a 157-square-kilometre region across the CBD and inner suburbs, providing power to more than 348,000 customers. 

 

Electricity is distributed in the region via a network comprising more than 4500 kilometres of wires, supported by more than 57,500 poles and associated infrastructure. CitiPower is the most highly utilised and efficient CBD and urban network in the country. •

For more information: https://www.citipower.com.au/network-planning-and-projects/major-projects/cbd-pit-inspection-and-remediation-program/

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