Atlantic City Electric is currently upgrading a critical electric transmission line which runs between substations in Monroe Township and Pine Hill. The 10 mile line is being completely rebuilt with taller, stronger poles ranging in height from 65 to 80 feet tall.
Recently the project has started on a new route through Gloucester Township on two very busy roadways in town, which has caught the attention of residents… as contractors drill the large holes for the new pole foundations, pour concrete and install the tall poles.
Facebook town groups lit up with multiple threads of residents concerned about the installation along properties. Atlantic City Electric states they will restore all properties experiencing impacts from the installation (more on that below)
Atlantic City Electric states the current line is now 70 years old and no major upgrades have occurred since then. Meanwhile in just the last 10 years the line has experienced 19 different outages typically caused by bad storms, and more powerful storms appear to be happening more frequently.
This 10 mile line and endpoint substations they connect, supports 13,600 customers.
It is expected that the improved infrastructure will strengthen the local energy grid., enhance resiliency, and lead to fewer storm related outages and better reliability for customers.
When mapping out the plan for the new pole installation and power lines, it was determined that a segment of the route would be changed to minimize impacts on several residential neighborhoods, as well as offer a more efficient installation process which would be easier to maintain long-term. This 3.5 mile new route segment is what seems to have gained the most questions from residents.
This project is one of many upgrade projects that Atlantic City Electric has in process for South Jersey, including communities such as Salem County, Upper Township, and a full upgrade of a Washington Township substation located on Woodbury-Turnersville Road.
The Greater Gloucester and Camden Counties Reliability Project includes upgrading approximately 10 miles of critical transmission line between Monroe Township and Pine Hill to improve reliability for thousands of customers and meet the region’s current and future energy needs. This transmission line upgrade benefits more than 13,600 customers in Gloucester and Camden Counties and is critical to maintaining reliable service for local customers.
Atlantic City Electric is committed to working closely with our customers and communities to address questions and minimize potential impacts throughout the project. We held virtual project open houses where our project team provided details on the transmission line upgrades and answered questions regarding this reliability improvement project. We continue to keep the community informed about our progress through company letters and post cards sent to customers as well.Atlantic City Electric Spokesperson
Gloucester and Camden County Reliability – Installation
The 10-mile transmission line connects a substation in Monroe Township (off of Tuckahoe Road) to another substation in Pine Hill (located off of Branch Road),
The original route travels through a variety of environments, including wooded areas, along roadways, and alongside (and through) several residential developments.
In Gloucester Township a large segment of the original route weaved directly through and around several residential communities, including Erial and Cobblestone.
With the need to upgrade the transmission lines it was determined that in those areas a straighter route along Cross Keys and Erial-Williamstown Roads would be less impactful to residents, and also a more efficient route to build and maintain.
What caught the attention of local residents recently is the start construction for the new 3.5 mile route segment in Gloucester Township.
In the last few weeks workers have started drilling the large foundation holes for the poles, pouring the approximately 4 foot wide concrete foundations, and installing the taller (and wider) poles.
In the Erial section near Rite-Aid, several of the tall utility poles are already installed and in my visit yesterday workers will busy installing another pole at the corner of the busy intersection where the Erial Fire Hall is located.
Each new pole amounts to it’s own construction site, and the many dozens of locations already process along the 3.5 mile new route segment appear to be spaced about 200 feet apart.
Along the more commercialized Cross Keys Road segment it appears engineers have found locations for the poles which have minimal impactful to property owners.
But along Erial-Williamstown Road there are portions where residential backyards extend close to the sidewalk, and with minimal spacing to the curb available… Atlantic City electric contractors had to remove portions of several backyard fences, and construct several new poles along the backyard property lines, extending into the residential properties.
Several residents whose properties are being impacted by the transmission pole installations stated in Facebook town groups they were made aware of the project in advance, and that easements were added to the properties in support of the insulation.
A resident went on to say “I just want the damage they keep making to my fence… fixed”
Atlantic City Electric has been directly in contact with customers who are directly impacted (by the installation). We will be restoring all property once completed (including fences)Atlantic City Electric Spokesperson (Paraphrased )
Another unfortunate but necessary placement is in front of the ground level marquee signage for the James Lilly Elementary School. Based on its angle it’s clear the new transmission pole would likely block the school’s announcement sign from motorists traveling West on Erial-Williamstown Road.
In regards to your question on the James W. Lilley Elementary School’s sign, Atlantic City Electric will be relocating the school’s sign, at no cost to the school. The company is in contact with school personnel and will continue to have further discussions on the relocation process.Atlantic City Electric Spokesperson
The Atlantic City Electric representative states that anyone with questions can email GlouCamReliability@exeloncorp.com
The Atlantic City Electric representative states that anyone with questions on this project can email GlouCamReliability@exeloncorp.com