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HELICOPTER HIGH WIRE ACT TO RESTRICT WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE ACCESS ON MONDAY

 HELICOPTER HIGH WIRE ACT TO RESTRICT
 WALT WHITMAN BRIDGE ACCESS ON MONDAY
 Philadelphia Electric Company (NYSE: PE) will begin a unique, week- long wire replacement project to improve electric reliability in Southwest Philadelphia on Monday, with the use of a specially trained helicopter team.
 The use of a lineman working from a platform suspended beneath a helicopter will enable PE to complete the project in five days instead of the 30 days it would take for a ground crew to do the job.
 But it will also mean traffic restrictions affecting the Walt Whitman and Platt bridges, to protect against traffic accidents caused by motorists watching the helicopter crew.
 To effect these safety measures, PE has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department traffic police and the Delaware River Port Authority bridge police.
 The first traffic restrictions will take place on Monday morning, Aug. 3, when eastbound access ramps to the Walt Whitman Bridge from Passyunk Ave. and the Schuylkill Expressway will be shut down from approximately 10:30 to 11 a.m., while the helicopter works overhead.
 Westbound traffic off the bridge will be detoured at the Broad Street exit during that time period.
 The operation involves five miles of wire, stretching from PE's Grays Ferry substation at Washington and Grays Ferry avenues, along the 25th Street Conrail right-of-way, to the Passyunk substation at 25th Street and Passyunk Avenue, to the Island Road substation at Island Road and Lindbergh Boulevard.
 The wire being replaced is a ground, or static, wire which protects the 230,000 volt conductor wires beneath it from lightning strikes. It will be replaced by both a new ground wire and fiber optic cable. The wires will be de-energized during the operation.
 The fiber optic cable will allow PE to improve its relay capabilities between transmission lines serving the area, thus improving electric reliability for its customers.
 PE has contracted the helicopter portion of the project to Ag Rotars, of Gettysburg. While the pilot hovers with precision over each of the 78 structures supporting the wire, the lineman on the helicopter platform will release clamps holding the wire and install a roller block under the wire.
 When all the clamps between substations have been released and the blocks installed, PE crews on the ground will pull the old wire off the structures and the new wire on.
 The project will begin Monday at the Grays Ferry substation about 7 a.m. It is expected to be completed by Friday, Aug. 7.
 CONTACT: Bill Jones of Philadelphia Electric, 215-841-4129.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/31/92
 (PE) CO: Philadelphia Electric Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


CC -- PH031 -- 5741 07/31/92 16:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 31, 1992
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