Power Infrastructure work in early stages as project is set to run through 2020

Oct. 2, 2019 | Dennis Hackett

The Pochassic Street Substation is part of an ongoing Eversource power infrastructure project.
Reminder Publishing photo by Dennis Hackett

WESTFIELD – The power infrastructure project in Westfield is still in its early stages with work likely to continue through 2020.

Frank Poirot, a senior media relations specialist with Eversource, said the current work is a two part project. The first part is installing a three-mile, high voltage circuit between the Pochassic Substation at the end of Oakdale Ave. and the Buck Pond substation off of Medeiros Way. Poirot explained the high voltage system connects the power from Eversource that runs through Massachusetts to the local system run by Westfield Gas and Electric.

The second part of the project is to create a switching station near the Atwater Substation, Poirot explained.

“A switching station is used to control the flow of power,” he said.

The project was initially brought to the public at an open house in June of 2017 before the project was approved in August of this year, Poirot said.

One of the tougher tasks in planning the project is when construction needs to be completed on or around the Mass Pike, Poirot said. For this type of work, he explained that Eversource had to work directly with local and state police to determine the safest and
 most appropriate times for construction on the highway.

“The police give us a permit for specific low-traffic times but we are still in the preliminary parts of the construction around the Pike so those times have not yet been determined,” Poirot said.

According to Poirot, teamwork between the different groups, including Eversource, city officials and the police, has been strong throughout the early stages of the project. He said the different groups involved with the project have done a good job of staying out of each other’s way while working together.

“There’s been good comradery and spirit among each of the different groups,” Poirot added.

Once the construction is completed by the middle of 2020, Poirot said the final stage of the project will be to restore areas that have been disrupted by the construction and should be completely wrapped up by the end of the year.

Poirot said residents do not have to worry about any delays in traffic flow as the construction continues.

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