OPALCO Fiber Project Kicks Off on San Juan Expect some traffic delays

— from Suzanne Olson —

Construction begins on Mar. 20 to install fiber optic cables along Cattle Point Road from Eagle Cove Drive all the way through San Juan National Historical Park to the major road re-alignment project south of Jackle’s Beach Lagoon. While OPALCO installs backbone infrastructure for the electric grid, both Rock Island Communications and CenturyLink will participate in the project. The three utilities often cooperate on construction projects to take advantage of the opportunity for maintenance and upgrades when trenching is involved in order to keep costs down and minimize impact on the community.

Construction crews do not anticipate any road closures, but will be reducing parts of Cattle Point Road to one lane, causing some traffic delays. “Expect delays of up to fifteen minutes,” said Ed Lago, OPALCO’s Engineering Technician. “We will have flaggers out on the road to keep things moving and appreciate your patience.” Construction is expected to complete by Apr. 28.

This major project will increase reach and reliability for OPALCO’s automated power distribution system in the area and, most importantly, the fiber connections will improve communications for safety with our crews and first responders in the field. In addition, new opportunities for Internet and phone services through Rock Island will be available along these routes in the near future.

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937.

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