By Ray on September 18, 2005 - 10:37pm
Those poles with transformer platforms and high-voltage wires
are part of our city's heritage, and have been carefully preserved
from the good old days when men were men, and the gals were all
Now, for the Good News:- some of those cables that keep your lights
on downtown actually are buried. Two sets of them, to be exact.
Those are buried all over the downtown core, and are running from
office tower to office tower, underneath the streets & sidewalks,
to provide power for most if not all of the major buildings of
the downtown core. One of those high-voltage cables is always
designated as the "hot" cable, meaning it is in use, while the
other is kept energized but disconnected from its load connections
for emergency purposes. When a new building is being built and
requires power, it is connected to the underground system.
To do that, the section into which it is to be connected has to be isolated and made safe to work on. This requires switching from
a dozen to two dozen of those other office towers over onto the
"spare" or emergency cable while that work is proceeding. Then,
afterward, switching everything back to the normally-used one.
How do I know? I used to work on the crew which did all that
switching of buildings from one cable to the other, and I've
been into the basement electrical rooms of almost every major
building in the downtown core, many of them more than once.
To bury every high-voltage wire in town would be very expensive,
and some we can't bury, because the trolley system requires
its overhead feed cables. I hope this throws a little "light" on