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Preparing for the Worst:Developing Overhead Line Routes to Replace Damaged Cables

This paper discusses one aspect of the planning being undertaken by Wellington Electricity to prepare for a large earthquake disrupting one or more major 33kV cables in the Wellington CBD and surrounding areas. The planning includes developing conceptual emergency overhead line routes, and designing suitable poles & foundations, so the lines can be built in the shortest possible time with the least possible resource.

The events surrounding the Christchurch earthquakes revealed many engineering lessons for electricity network companies. One of these was the vulnerability of underground cables to rupture during earthquakes, and the value of being able to rapidly restore damaged cable routes with temporary overhead lines.

-Wal Marshall, Geoff Douch and Gurjeet Malhi

Full report can be downloaded below:

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