ANDOVER — An end is in sight for the hours-long power outages endured over recent years by residents of Gavin Circle, Park Street and Salem Street.
At the Select Board meeting Monday night, Paulo Sathler, a representative from National Grid, spoke to area residents about the cable replacements that are expected to finally take place next month, providing new cable service to all residents and ending the unexpected outages.
Sathler said the original cable installed, which had a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, is being replaced with a new cable inside the conduits.
There were three articles related to the issue on the meeting’s agenda — all of which were petitions from National Grid to construct lines of underground electric conduits, including any necessary sustaining and protecting fixtures.
Chris Banta, of 15 Gavin Circle, was one of many residents to voice frustrations with National Grid at the Monday night meeting, noting the lack of communication from the utility.
Banta said she was assured months ago the work would be completed in the spring — then it was postponed to August and now September. She questioned the degree of certainty the company has that the work will be done in September.
Sathler said getting approval from the board Monday is the last step before scheduling dates for the work to be done. The petitions to construct the lines of underground electric conduits were approved by all four members of the board at the meeting. Select Board member Chris Huntress was not in attendance.
“We have had at least eight outages over the course of the last 2 and 1/2 years. They’re random and you never expect them,” Banta said. “The biggest concern that I have besides the randomness of it, is the extensive delay of National Grid to fix the problem.”
Banta said each time there is an outage on her street, it takes anywhere from eight to nine hours until power is restored to the last impacted home. She said she believes the work could be mitigated to about half the amount of time if Dig Safe was contacted immediately when the outages began.
“The outages are excessive,” Sathler agreed. “It’s not going to get better. It’s something that needs to be done as soon as possible.”
During the four weeks of work that will be done, Sathler said residents should only experience very brief outages. He said the old cable will not be removed when the new one is installed — rather the two will run parallel to one another.
Outage letters are expected to be sent out to area residents before work begins. Sathler recommended marking areas where sprinkler systems are installed to avoid any damage.
For the majority of Gavin Circle, the work is going to be done on lawns, Sathler said. Near the end of Gavin Circle, however, where there is not enough space for the utility, the conduit will be put in the streets.
Any lawn areas that are disturbed will be replanted and fixed, and any segments of road disturbed will be restored by National Grid.
“I want to thank all the residents of Gavin Circle for your patience,” said Select Board member Annie Gilbert. “This has really been unbelievably long, and you have come to the meetings, including last month when National Grid wasn’t here, so hopefully this is the very last trouble. Thank you for your patience.”