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Puget Sound Energy electric distribution projects

Thurston County tree wire projects

Project overview

In order to decrease the high number of tree-related outages our customers in several Thurston County neighborhoods experienced, we replaced portions of the distribution power lines with tree wire. Tree wire has a special coating that prevents a power outage in the event a tree branch comes in contact with the line. By installing tree wire in other locations in our service area, we have helped reduce power outages related to falling tree branches by 70 percent.

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Project map
2012 Projects
  • Rainier (Rainier Road and Military Rd SE):
    • We installed approximately 3 miles of tree wire along Rainier Rd between Military Rd SE and 133rd Ave SE and along Military Rd SE between Rainier Rd SE and McIntosh Ln SE.
    • This project was completed in mid-September 2012.
    • Lacey (Panorama City):
      • We replaced nearly 4,500 ft of existing distribution wire with tree wire along Golf Club Rd SE.
      • This project started in late August 2012 and was completed in September 2012.
    • Tenino (Crowder Road SE):
      • We installed approximately 2.2 miles of tree wire along Crowder Road between Old Hwy 99 SE and 184th Ave SE.
      • This project was completed in December 2012.
    • Littlerock (Littlerock Road and 133rd Avenue SW):
      • We installed wire along Littlerock Road SW and 133rd Avenue SW. Additionally, we will be undergrounding a segment of line along 133rd Avenue SW between Littlerock Road and Erskine Road, and removing an existing segment of line running cross-country from 128th Ave SW to 133rd Ave SW.
    • Olympia (Steamboat Island Rd and Madrona Beach Rd NW):
      • We replaced approximately 2.8 miles of tree wire along Madrona Beach Road NW and Steamboat Island Rd between 41st Ave NW to Mud Bay.
    • Lacey (Thompson Place):
      • We installed approximately 12,600 ft of tree wire north of Martin Way E in the Thompson Place neighborhood.
      • Construction began in early November 2012.
    • Tumwater (Eskridge Blvd SE):
      • We installed 1.2 miles of tree wire along Eskridge Blvd SE in Tumwater.
      2013 Projects
      • North Olympia (Friendly Grove):
        • Installed 3.8 miles of tree wire in the Friendly Grove area along 81st Ave NE and Zangle Rd NE.
      • North Olympia (Luhr Beach):
        • Installed two miles of tree wire in the Luhr beach area between Hilton Rd NE and Marvin Rd NE.
      • South Olympia (Fir Tree Rd SE):
        • Installed approximately 8,000 feet of tree wire along Fir Tree Rd SE.
      • Olympia (South Bay Rd NE):
        • Installed 9,500 feet of tree wire along South Bay Rd NE between Springer Road and Martin Way E.
      • Rochester (James Rd and Albany St):
        • Installed 3 miles of tree wire along James Rd between Denmark St and Albany St and along Albany St between James Rd and Hwy 12.
      • Rochester (Applegate St SW and 176th Ave SW):
        • Installed 1 mile of tree wire along Applegate St SW between 183rd Ave SW and 173rd Ave SW, and along 176th Ave. SW between Applegate St SW and Pendleton St.
        What is a distribution line?

        Distribution lines are critical links in the electrical system moving power from electrical substations through distribution transformers directly to homes or businesses. Unlike transmission lines, distribution lines typically carry less than 55 kV; PSE's distribution lines are typically 12.5 kV. Distribution lines can be installed both above and below ground.

        What is tree wire?

        Tree wire is a specially coated overhead wire, which prevents an electric short in the line (and subsequent outage) in the event a tree limb falls into a line. Tree wire is very useful at preventing outages in areas with many trees. Although it does not prevent outages caused by an entire tree falling into a line (if the tree is heavy enough to cause poles and wires to break,) it can significantly lower the frequency of power outages in your community.

        Download the information

        Download these PDF files for more detail on our Thurston County tree wire projects.

        Project map, August 2012