CBD Underground Power Project

The undergrounding of power in the CBD has been on the agenda for many years with the community and Council counting the days until the dangerous and unsightly timber power poles and wires on Chapman Road and Durlacher Street are finally removed.

After the power poles have been removed, beautification of these important thoroughfares can begin which will involve implementing projects that directly align with the recently adopted Geradlton City Centre Revitalisation Plan.

The first project will be the renewal of the footpaths located on Durlacher Street between Marine Terrace and Sanford Street.

The State Underground Power in the City of Greater Geraldton CBD Project is set to begin in early November (more here). During the works, parking in Carpark 3, located on the corner of Durlacher Street and Anzac Terrace, will be free of charge.  This will ensure ease of access for clients and customers of businesses and shops located within the project area.

Project Area Map

Project Area Map

Project Newsletter

Western Power and the City have issued a newsletter containing details of the project.  Read the newsletter here

Frequently Asked Questions

How was the determination made as to which streets would receive underground power?

The State Underground Power Program - Localised Enhancement Project Fund has a number of criteria that applicants must meet in order for their projects to be approved. These criteria include:

  • Alignment of the project with Western Power's network priorities. The network priorities criterion targets projects that assist in mitigating risk posed by the overhead electricity network by replacing ageing infrastructure and advancing scheduled maintenance to the distribution system;
  • The level of community support for a project; and
  • The share of project funding to be contributed by the local government. Funding is only available for projects valued at a maximum of $1 million with the City contributing 50 per cent of project costs. As projects can only be implemented up to the value of $1 million, underground power can only be provided on Chapman Road between Cathedral Avenue and Forrest Street and along Durlacher Street between Sanford Street and Marine Terrace as part of this funding agreement.

Will my customers/clients still be able to access my office/business during the installation of the underground service cable?

Yes, customers and/or clients will have access to your office/business as this work generally takes less than a day depending on complexity of installation and our contractor will plan this work to minimise disruption to the business.

 

How long can I expect access to my office/business will be disrupted by the works?

Access to businesses will be maintained; our contractor will liaise with business owners through a series of advice notices and verbally as stages of work are carried out.

 

To what extent will the footpath be damaged during the installations?

A number of small holes will be dug at various points along the street and footpath and will be filled in as work progresses. Once underground power works are completed, the City of Geraldton will be carrying out footpath renewal works within the project area.

 

Will there be green power boxes or domes on the footpaths?

No, not on footpaths, Domes will be used where practicable in non-trafficable areas, alternatively Vynckier boxes (wall mounted non-metallic enclosure) will be installed generally at the front of the business over 2m above ground level.

 

Will Western Power be providing extra light towers to ensure over all community safety and security for my office/business should the area not be adequately lit during the change-over period?

The new lights will be erected and switched on in stages as the new circuits are energised, however some lights that have been designed to be installed on the same side as the existing overhead will not be erected until the overhead has been removed.

During the changeover, will the power be shut off to just the building being changed over or will the power be shut off to the whole street? 

During change over, typically one building will be isolated at a time. The project contractor (electrician) will work with the business  owners to negotiate an appropriate time to do this change over.  Please note, that there may be outages prior to change over as the new network is integrated into the old area. How many outages and the duration of them is unknown at this stage however this will be communicated to business owners prior.

Will Western Power be providing alternative power supplies to offices/businesses during the changeover period?

No. In general, the changeover from the overhead to the new underground system in regards to the premises should take between 1-3 hours. Our contractor will liaise with business owners to determine a suitable changeover time.

Will the entire street be closed off during the removal of poles and wires or just the area of immediate works?

Generally, just the immediate area (lane) as they work from one bay (a bay being the wires between two poles) to the next bay is affected. The contractor’s traffic management plan will determine the requirements and conditions around this work.

 

Will my clients/customers still be able to access my office/business while poles and wires are being removed?

Yes, the contractor will be working roadside and will plan his work to minimise disruption to the business and keep access maintained. On average, the contractor will remove approximately 10 to 15 bays of overhead per day once they start this phase of work. The removal of poles and the changeover of properties is scheduled to begin in January 2018.

 

Can this work not be done at night to reduce the business loss I will incur due to limited or lack of access for my clients/customers to my office/business?

No.  To ensure safe work practices are maintained at all times this work will need to be carried out during the day.

 

If the project isn’t completed on time and impacts the Christmas season, will I be compensated for losses due to clients/customers not being able to access my office/business?

The contractor will be working roadside and will plan his work to minimise disruption to the business and keep access maintained. Our contractor will shut down for the Christmas period from 22/12/2017 to 08/01/2018

 

Will I be compensated for any damage to my building or shop front awnings caused by the removal of the poles and wires?

Property owners/occupiers will not be reimbursed for work done by any other party to reinstate or repair damage caused by the contractor during the work without the contractor’s prior authorisation. Property owners/occupiers are encouraged to carry out minor reinstatements or repairs if they wish, provided no reimbursement is sought. The contractors reserve the right to charge for time taken to investigate complaints that are subsequently shown to be clearly unrelated to the underground power work.

Why is the building on the north side of Durlacher Street between Chapman Road and Marine Terrace not included in the project?

Although the properties on the North side of Durlacher Street already receive their power underground from a transformer located on Marine Terrace, the underground power project includes removing the power poles standing alongside the building.

 

Why are the buildings on the south side Durlacher Street between Chapman Road and Marine Terrace included in the project when they already have underground power running to them from the Library substation?  The line runs to the front of the ‘Tab’ building.

Although these properties are currently connected to an underground cable, this cable is fed from the overhead lines at the pole on the corner of Durlacher Street and Chapman Road. The Underground Power Project includes removing this pole and the other poles that run along Durlacher Street between Chapman Road and Marine Terrace.

If street parking is compromised during the project, where will my customers/clients be able to park?

During the project, parking at Carpark 3, located on the corner of Anzac Terrace and Durlacher Street - behind McDonalds, will be free of charge for customers and clients of the businesses and offices located within the project area.

 

Is there free parking available at any carparks in the area?

Carpark 2, located on Chapman Road beside the Geraldton Regional Library, allows for 15 minutes of free parking provided you display a ticket collected from the machine that indicates your arrival time. Directions on the machine explain how to print this type of ticket.

Project Funding

The $1.1 million project, which involves undergrounding of power on Chapman Road between Cathedral Avenue and Forrest Street and on Durlacher Street between Sanford Street and Marine Terrace, will be jointly funded with the Western Power and the State Government providing $500,000 via the Underground Power Program Localised Enhancement Project fund and the City of Greater Geraldton contributing the other $500,000 (more here).