Tampa Electric Co. (TECO), which serves more than 600,000 customers in Hillsborough as well as parts of Polk, Pinellas and Pasco counties is poised to begin a major maintenance and upgrade project on its existing 14-mile-long transmission corridor structures in Riverview.
The three-phase, and more than $10 million project is scheduled to start this month spanning from TECO’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach to its S.R. 60 substation located just west of S. Falkenburg Rd. in Brandon.
TECO hopes to complete the work by the end of this year.
During a number of public meetings held by TECO officials, residents had the opportunity to learn about the project, ask questions and give their input as to the projects necessity.
According to TECO Spokesperson Rick Morera, besides the maintenance of the existing power line structures, the work will include the addition of a new 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line.
“This project is designed to ensure the delivery of reliable, cost-effective electricity to our customers not just for the immediate future but for the next several decades,” Morera said.
The project’s first phase or segment-one will focus on the section crossing the Alafia River, between Gibsonton Dr., and Riverview Dr. and will reconfigure the transmission circuits that cross the river by removing three structures on an island.
Morera said that during the duration of this phase, access to the river will be limited to ensure boaters and crew safety.
“While necessary, these closures will be short in time and will be coordinated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and publicized in advance,” he said.
Segment two and three will follow, which will cover the sections of Big Bend Rd. to Gibsonton Dr. and from Riverview Dr. to the company’s substation on S.R. 60, respectively.
Gibsonton area mobile home park care takers Shellesa Austin and Heather Martinez were concerned about possible power outages or the project possibly effecting private roads or areas, but were relieved when TECO project manager Dave Johnson assured them of the unlikeliness of such problems and what the work will actually involve.
“There is no need to worry about any power outages resulting from this project,” Johnson said. “The project is replacing the old structures with the new ones and although TECO crews will use roads to gain access to the construction, the work will take place within the existing Tampa Electric corridor.”
Residents are encouraged to be mindful of driving safely during the construction period, for the safety of pedestrians, motorists and Tampa Electric team members.
For more information about the project, please visit www.tampaelectric.com/infrastructure/Bigbendsr60 or contact Johnson at 275-3045.