GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Front Street in downtown Georgetown is about to undergo a big project. The city’s electrical department will be redoing that area’s electrical grid to take flooding and the tides into account.
On Thursday, the department will present the final project to city council. This will be more of an informational presentation to show council what exactly this project will look like. The project won’t need any further approval though. The funding for it was built into this year's budget. It’ll cost an estimated $550,000, according to Alan Loveless of the electrical department.
The department will be replacing an almost 30-year-old underground electrical system.
According to Loveless, when it was originally installed, overhead transformers were put in large cabinets on the ground. That's not how they were intended to be used though, especially the ones near the water. Sometimes during a king tide, those would flood and cause outages.
This project will replace all the underground wires and ground-level transformers. The department will use “pad-mounted transformers” instead of what’s already there. These are designed to be on the ground. They will also be moving the locations of some of the transformers, so they are away from the water.
“We’re planning the work process to minimize outages,” Loveless said. “It’s impossible to do it without outages, and hopefully we’ll keep those outages down to a few hours.”
He also added they are going to do it so it only affects a few customers at a time.
Georgetown Mayor Brendon Barber is very excited about the project and is focusing on its long term goals.
“It’s something we’ve needed for quite some time,” Barber said. “It makes us even more business friendly.”
The project could start as early as March and be done by the fall. At the moment, the city is looking to hire a contractor.