Warrnambool City Council and Powercor have joined forces to help restore first floor building facades along Timor Street.
Powercor will make temporary changes to the city’s power network to facilitate safe restoration and painting works on the buildings, many of which date from the 19th century.
The work will begin on March 31 with a Powercor crew installing a complex series of network changes that will transfer power supply from high voltage cables outside Timor Street’s shop fronts, to the surrounding low-voltage network.
Council has contributed $40,000 towards the cost of the power diversion.
Power will be re-routed for 90 days, allowing businesses to keep the lights on and painters to access the buildings and restore them to their former glory.
Painters and other maintenance workers have been unable to access the upper floor of buildings in Timor Street due to the close proximity of high voltage powerlines and strict “No-Go Zones” set by Energy Safe Victoria.
No-Go Zones are minimum distances that contractors and equipment must keep from power infrastructure, which includes cranes, excavators, concrete pumpers, scissor lifts and scaffolding.
Powercor Major Client Manager Richard Scholten said the work would safely go ahead while minimising disruption to the local community.
“We know how important this restoration work is for shop owners in Timor Street so we are pleased that we have been able to support this facelift to be completed safely,” Mr Scholten said.
“I want to sincerely thank these business owners and the city council for working with us so closely as we tackled some complex challenges during the design phase.”
“The final solution is one that not only achieves the desired restoration of each building, but does so in a way that keeps power on for these businesses and the surrounding community.”
Painting will take place on Timor Street between Kepler and Liebig streets, with some very short outages for individual buildings, to allow painters to access the area immediately surrounding each businesses’ connection point.
Mr Scholten said these outages will be coordinated with each business to ensure they take place at a time that suits them.
Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie said Council was pleased to support the business and building owners along Timor Street.
“We know that many have been wanting to carry out maintenance on their buildings and this collaboration with Powercor removes the obstacle that prevented this from happening,” Cr Jellie said.
“Importantly, pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained while the work is carried out.”
Once the project is complete, Powercor will remove the temporary high voltage isolators and re-route power back through the network in its normal configuration, with no impact to the power supply.