A helicopter, similar to this one, will be used to assist in placing new power poles in the St. Joe River Valley
next week. This shot was taken in 2007 when a helicopter was used on the Washington and Idaho Palouse
to pull a new transmission line across a large span.
The poles being replaced next week were inspected
in the company’s Wood Pole Replacement program.
Under the program, a percentage of Avista’s over
274,000 service-area poles are evaluated each
year to help ensure reliability of the company’s
electric system. In 2009, Avista spent over $8.2
million on the program. This image shows a crew
reinforcing a wood pole with steel shanks.
About 350 Avista customers in the St. Joe River Valley will experience power outages June 15 thru 17, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day as Avista crews work to replace nine power poles in remote locations, requiring the use of a helicopter.
The outages will affect customers on St. Joe River Road (NFD50) from Scott’s Logging at mile marker 14 to Avery, Idaho.
Over the past year, power poles in portions of the St. Maries area, including the St. Joe River Valley, have been inspected as part of Avista’s on-going Wood Pole Replacement program. Under the program, a percentage of Avista’s over 274,000 service-area poles are evaluated each year to help ensure reliability of the company’s electric system. In 2009, Avista spent over $8.2 million on the program.
According to Matt Swan, Avista’s local representative in St. Maries, pole repairs identified through the inspection having the least impact on St. Maries-area customers have been completed. The remaining work of replacing poles is now causing service interruptions.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this series of outages could create and appreciate the patience for our customers. We encourage those with special considerations to make alternative arrangements during this time frame,” Swan said. “Our crews, with the assistance of a helicopter, will work as quickly and safely as possible to return everyone to service.”