Media Release: Keeping Melbourne’s electricity supplies reliable down-under

11 August 2020

With Melbourne’s metropolitan area in strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, crews from electricity distributor CitiPower are continuing one of its largest inspections of infrastructure underneath the CBD’s roadways and footpaths.

The large-scale Pit Inspection Program involves crews inspecting nearly 500 pits across the CitiPower network over the next seven years, with 60 already inspected this year.

Specialist teams of underground lineworkers are using 3D LIDAR scans of each pit, combined with thermographic scans of all cables, to identify any issues, before conducting maintenance works as needed.

CitiPower project manager Gerson D’Costa said program would ensure the inspection of all pits within roadways and footpaths to ensure traffic and pedestrians are safe as they move over the top on a daily basis.

“The purpose of the inspections is to examine the structural integrity and condition of the pit, allowing us to conduct any necessary upgrades or repairs,” Mr D’Costa said.

“The 3D scans allow us to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the pit and complete the inspection to a higher level of accuracy.

“We also started conducting thermographic inspections this year of all cables and cable joints inside each pit being inspected, allowing us to identify specific locations of potential faults.

With many pits located in roadways or on footpaths across the city, less vehicle and pedestrian traffic during COVID lockdowns is assisting the program.

“Normally we try to do most of this work earlier in the morning or on weekends to minimise the impacts as much as possible, and the City of Melbourne have indicated there is flexibility for us to work a little later into the morning now with lockdowns on,” Mr D’Costa said.