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Maldon’s underground power project now underway

Powerlines in the Main Street of Maldon.

Works have started to place power lines underground in the central business area of historic Maldon.

Monday 16 November 2020

Works have started to place power lines underground in the central business area of historic Maldon.

It will take around six months to relocate the powerlines underground, with care taken to minimise disruption to businesses, residents and the nineteenth century heritage streetscapes.

“The original electricity infrastructure was installed in the 1940s. The undergoing of power has been a community wish for over 30 years and as the local Councillor I am excited to see this delivered,” said Stephen Gardner, Councillor for Tarrengower Ward.

The project will deliver a number of benefits to the community.

“Moving powerlines underground improves the amenity of Maldon’s heritage streetscape, and also reduces the risk of power outages resulting from extreme weather and bushfire,” said Tanya Goddard, Executive Manager Infrastructure, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Powercor will lead these works on behalf of Council and has engaged a local contractor to undertake the day-to-day activities.

The first stage of works will focus on the northern side of the CBD along Fountain, High and Francis streets, moving to Templeton Street in December. Works will commence along the southern end of High Street, along with Dolphin, Main and Francis streets in 2021. Detail on these stages is still being worked through.

Council and Powercor have coordinated the project in stages to minimise the impact on businesses during the busy lead up to Christmas.

“It’s been a challenging year for local business and we don’t want to impact this any further,” said Ms Goddard.

The hours of work will be Monday to Thursday 8.00am to 4.00pm to avoid disruption to weekend visitors and trade.

There are no planned power outages in November and December as part of this project. Powercor will inform customers well in advance of any planned power outages.

Undergrounding power, improving the streetscape and restoring shopfronts are three projects that make up the Maldon Streetscape Revitalisation Project. The project received $4.5 million funding from the State Government through its Crisis Committee of Cabinet – Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

Council is delivering the project in partnership with the community.

Key points

- Most of the work this year is planned to involve boring underground, although some open trenching will occur on Fountain Street. Access pits may also be required to be constructed. Powercor has engaged an arborist to advise on the required depths of boring to avoid damage to tree roots.

- Powercor is aiming to minimise road disruptions. Traffic management will be in place when required to help pedestrian and vehicles move safely around the work.

- Powercor’s project team will notify local residents and businesses directly affected by each stage of works, 7-10 days before they begin. The duration of any impact will range from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the work being carried out.

- Hours of work will be Monday to Thursday, 8.00am to 4.00pm. This will help to avoid disruption to weekend visitors and trade.

- No work will take place in key retail areas during December and January to help retail operators maximise trade during the key summer trade periods.

- When customer power interruptions are required Powercor and Council will work with impacted residents and businesses to determine the most appropriate times. Power outages will be communicated well in advance and will be planned for the shortest duration possible.

- No power outages are planned for 2020 as part of these works.

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