By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An upgrade of the Alabama Power Company poles and wiring along Atmore streets, a project that began late in 2018, has exceeded its halfway point but is still several months away from completion.
“We are making upgrades to our electrical system in Atmore,” said Beth Thomas, External Affairs Manager for the utility company’s Mobile region. “We are replacing some of our older equipment — some of our poles and our wiring — with new equipment in order to improve reliability and service to our customers in the area.”
Thomas said the upgrade, which was most currently being conducted along South Main and Lindbergh streets, is lengthier than the standard APCO project. She said the influx of company personnel, trucks and other equipment will be a part of the local scene through the end of the year and into 2020.
“This is a long project for us,” she said. “We started last year and expect to complete it early next year.”
The new poles are wrapped near the top with orange sleeves. Thomas said the sleeves are for the safety of company linemen.
“Those are safety mechanisms for the crew,” she explained. “They insulate the poles from the conductor energy and will be removed as the work is completed. Safety is the hallmark of the work we do at Alabama Power.”
She pointed out that the temporary traffic lanes formed by orange cones in the work zones, along with the flashing blue lights of city police cars, have helped make motorists aware of the presence of work crews and have lessened the danger of accidents.
“We are working to minimize the impact on traffic, particularly in downtown and other busy areas,” said the Alabama Power official. “We appreciate people being on the lookout for our crews, and we ask that they slow down and be patient.”