The back story on the recent power outage
As an interested bystander of last Friday’s planned power outage, I learned some interesting news worth sharing.
In Aspen there still exist some old obsolete underground power cables buried in the dirt, not even in pipe conduit. Periodically these wires fail and since they are not in pipe they must be dug up.
A week prior to the shutdown, one of the wires failed going to the Golden Horn building, causing a “brown-out” at Taka Sushi (yum!). The correct repair is to dig a new ditch from the power transformer to the building, install new pipe conduit, then pull in all new wire through the new underground pipe.
This work was all done in the days leading up to Friday’s shutdown. Excavating contractors, Aspen electric department employees and Lassiter Electrical contractors all worked together carefully to get this new underground service in place without digging into any existing utilities.
The Friday shutdown took longer than anticipated because they encountered old parts when they dismantled the old equipment that could not be reused and do the job right. I stopped by several times to ask when the power would be back on. I appreciated the honest and straightforward answers I was given. It was obvious everyone was doing all they could to get the job done as fast as they could.
Attempting to have done this work at night would have been much more dangerous, I believe. Through it all the electrical contractor, Doug Lassiter, was working hard with his crew to get the job done as fast as possible and still do it right.
Aspen alleys are part of our “messy vitality” and when you get a first-hand look at all that goes on there, it’s pretty amazing. So next time you are at Taka, NY Pizza, or any other cool or hot Aspen spot, a tip of the hat, glass, or slice to the folks who keep Aspen powered up!
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.