Located from Marathon to Key West , the 138-kV power line cannot be switched out and had to remain energized so there was no interruption in power delivery to the thousands of Keys residents. Using BHI’s highly specialized barehand live-line crews and a barge for water-sited poles, the team replaced 1,473 standard old polymer insulators on 491 structures with new LAPP polymer insulators. These offer longer-term protection against the effects of salt air and water due to the fiberglass and anti-rust alloy formulation.
Energized electric power infrastructure work requires highly specialized training and months of preparation to perform work, with extensive preplanning and adherence to strict safety and quality protocols. In barehand work, linemen are in direct contact with energized conductors and must wear conductive apparel and are charged to the same voltage as the line while maintaining minimum distances from grounded surfaces. Additional challenges of the project included work at height over water, intense heat, wind and wave action and inclement weather, all of which were bested with BHI’s exceptional planning and performance.