Project to improve electric reliability in Flagstaff starts next week

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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A long-awaited construction project kicks off next week, to fix power lines in Flagstaff.

Starting Monday, APS crews will start replacing the lines to the top of Mount Elden in the San Francisco Peaks.

The project includes switching out 24 wooden poles with 19 steel poles, in an effort to improve electric reliability for the Flagstaff area.

It will also secure the power supply to communications equipment that are vital for police, fire, and rescue operations in northern Arizona.

Although the lines are still working, officials say it’s time to update the system, after four decades of operation.

"The line has performed well for more than 40 years in an extremely harsh environment," said Rick Nicosia, APS Operations Manager for Northeast Arizona. "It feeds the communication equipment located at the top of Mount Elden and is nearing the end of its life. We are rebuilding the line to ensure continued reliability for 40 more years and beyond."

The new steel poles are rust-colored, in order to blend in to the surroundings.

Helicopters will be used to help with the installation, due to Mount Elden’s steep and rocky terrain.

The project is expected to take eight weeks to complete and should be finished by the end of November.

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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