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Utility maintenance work under way along John Stockbauer Drive

By ALLISON MILES
Oct. 1, 2011 at 5:01 a.m.

Workers with L.E. Meyers Co. in Pasadena string fiber optic cable that will connect AEP substations to monitor energy loads. The crews have been working their way down John Stockbauer for several days.

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For more information on AEP, visit aep.com. For information on L.E. Myers Co., visit myrgroup.com.

Drivers traveling John Stockbauer Drive recently might have noticed a few tall - very tall - additions along the sides of the road.

Workers with L.E. Myers Co., an electrical utility contractor of Pasadena, took to work on bucket trucks doing maintenance work on Victoria transmission lines.

Such lines always require periodic maintenance, but the job includes an upgrade as workers replace existing shield wire with a combination of shield and fiber optic wire, said Elgin Janssen, a spokesman for AEP Texas.

The improved technology will improve communication between dispatch centers and relay switches located at substations, he explained. That can translate into quicker diagnosis and shorter outage times when problems arise.

It makes good sense to keep the system as reliably sound as possible, Janssen said.

"Everybody's happier," he said. "We are, the customers are, so everybody gets on a lot better."

Most, but not all, of Victoria's transmission lines will see upgrades in the near future, he said.

Janssen said he did not know the project's exact timeline, but expected it to be finished well before the year's end.

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