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Co-op to Improve Electric Service to Ocracoke

Tideland Electric Membership Corp. will in January replacing an overhead pole line with an underground cable along Pole Road in Hatteras to improve electric service on Ocracoke. Graphic: National Park Service

Tideland Electric Membership Corp. is expected to begin in January a project that will improve the reliability of electric service to Ocracoke Island, the National Park Service announced Monday.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials issued a special use permit for the electric cooperative to replace with an underground cable an overhead pole line that runs 1.75 miles on Pole Road along seashore property, near the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to the south end of Hatteras Island. The power line is the sole source of electricity to the 1,385 electrical customers on Ocracoke Island.

During the work, access along sections of Pole Road will be periodically impacted during this project. Construction is expected to take about two months and will be completed in four segments to ensure beach access is available. Detour routes for each segment will be published on the Seashore’s beach access web page.

The erosion at the south end of the island and washouts along Pole Road have increased enough in recent years that the integrity and reliability of the overhead line are at risk. The underground cable along Pole Road is to minimize the environmental impact of trenching dunes and the vegetated areas of the island.

After the underground cable is installed, the existing overhead line will be removed, allowing the present line route to return to its natural vegetative state. Pole Road will continue to serve as an off-road vehicle route after the project is completed.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.