Crews plan to finish installing taller utility poles in Teaneck by Columbus Day as part of a Public Service Electric and Gas project to improve reliability for area electric customers, a company spokeswoman said Monday.
The new poles are needed to hold higher capacity wires carrying 69,000 volts, over the 26,000 volts carried on old lines, said PSE&G spokeswoman Barbara Lynch. Coming in at 65-feet, the new poles are stronger and designed to bring wires above trees, a feature that could prevent downed lines during storms.
Work to install the poles began months ago in Bergen County, but met resistance in Ridgewood and Glen Rock, where residents worried about safety and aesthetics. PSE&G officials have sought to reassure residents that there are no health risks from the higher voltage lines and held a community forum to address resident concerns.
The new, higher voltage lines are quickly becoming an industry standard and are needed to meet an increased demand for electricity, the spokeswoman said.
PSE&G’s project in Teaneck hasn’t met any widespread public opposition and Lynch said the work is not delayed. So far, 394 taller poles were installed on the circuit that serves Teaneck, Englewood and Bergenfield, she added.
When a new pole is installed, PSE&G doesn’t immediately remove the shorter pole because cable and phone lines are still attached, Lynch said.
The last company to remove its equipment is responsible for taking the old pole down, she said. Power lines are always at the top of the pole, followed by cable company and telecommunications lines.
“It’s really a coordinated effort between all the providers with equipment on the pole,” Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski said.
It was not immediately clear how many poles remained to be installed and removed in Teaneck.
PSE&G’s project includes upgrading two electricity substations serving the Teaneck-area, which the company has said would likely be done early next year.