Right-of-Way Maintenance Program
When GVEA’s right-of-way crews clear an area around nearby power lines, your power should not be affected. In fact, this program is in place to prevent trees from growing into the power lines. Golden Valley Electric attempts to notify residents of ROW clearing plans well in advance. Members in areas where power lines will be cleared should receive a postcard notification (click HERE to view the postcard).
The 2022 Right of Way clearing season has begun! Below you will find a list of clearing areas and approximate times we expect crews to be in those locations. This information is subject to change. For the most up to date information on where crews are and will be, please check GVEA’s Facebook page every week. If you have any questions, please call the Operations Department at 907-451-5692.
- Usibelli Coal Mine Rd and Waugaman Rd – Healy Substation R1 (first of the season April to beginning of May).
- Denali National Park to Mile 273 Parks Hwy, including Healy – Healy Substation R2 (May through July).
- Hurst Rd east of Dawson Rd, including Freedom Dr, to Nelson Rd and neighborhoods off Nelson Rd From Lyle Ave North – Dawson Road Substation R1 (September).
- Neighborhoods accessed off of Dawson Rd, north of Hurst Rd and Plack Rd, as well as the south side of Repp Rd, east of Quincy – Dawson Road Substation R3 (End of September).
- Peridot St to Brock Rd as far north as Willis Ct, along Badger Rd from Plack Rd to the Speedway. This circuit also goes west to 12 mile village and to the Bunge subdivision – Highway Park Substation R2 (October).
- From the Badger Rd and Plack Rd intersection, south on Badger Rd into North Pole, to Park Way and St Nicholas Dr. This circuit also goes almost a mile down Plack Rd and south to include Flight St and portions of the neighborhood south of Hurst Rd – Highway Park Substation R3 (October)
- Bradway Rd from Dennis Rd to Badger Rd and from Badger Rd south to Marigold. This also includes Dennis Rd to the Pellet plant on the south side of the Richardson Hwy, the neighborhood accessed by Cobb Rd and Lu Ann Rd – Badger Road Substation R1 (May through August).
- Persinger Dr and Badger Rd north of Holmes Rd to Browns Hill Quarry – Badger Road Substation R2 (May and August).
- Badger Rd from Browns Hill Quarry to Sirlin Dr, including Holmes Rd and Dennis Rd to Copper St – Badger Road Substation R3 (July through September).
- Badger Rd from Alder Dr to Itta Ln, Peede Rd, Freeman Rd, Nordale Rd to the Little Chena River – Badger Road Substation R4 (May through October).
Chena Hot Springs Road
- Clearing will mostly be between 8 and 15 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd – Brockman Substation R2 (April through May).
- From about 4 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd east to about 8 mile CHSR including Love Rd, Esro Rd, Herning Rd, Risse Rd, Smallwood Tr, Jamal Ln and Nordale Rd as far south as Severns Rd – Brockman Substation R4 (April through mid-June).
- Chena Substation B3, B4, B5 and B6 will be cleared by a yet to be named contractor.
- This is a large portion of Fairbanks mostly North of Airport Way and south of the Chena River, bordered on the east near Noble St (the length of 7th Ave and a line that goes between 10th and 12th extend further east) and the west at Park Dr. This substation also feeds the Railroad Industrial Park area and Brandt neighborhoods north of the Chena River. On the south side of Airport Way there is a line that goes down Peger Rd to Davis Rd and another line that goes down Cowles Rd as far as 17th ave on E Cowles Rd. The north side of Kennicott Ave is also included. On the south side of Airport Way is Market St to S Kobuk St, which will be cleared as well.
- Sherwood Forest Subdivision and Chena Ridge Spur Rd, along Chena Pump from the Parks Hwy overpass to Chena Small Tracts, including the neighborhoods off Palo Verde, Amherst, Trinidad, and some of Dartmouth – Chena Pump Substation R1 (mid-June through mid-July and month of September).
- Includes most of Goldhill Rd and the East end of Chena Ridge, the rest of the circuit has been recleared recently – Chena Pump Substation R4 (mid-September through end of October).
- The west end of Chena Ridge, Becker Ridge, Cripple Cr and Rosie Cr – Ester Substation R1 (May through mid-June).
- West from University Ave along Airport Way and Frontage Rd, including Boat St, Sportman Way, and Old Airport Rd – International Airport Substation R1 (August through mid-September).
- Most of Chena Ridge, Chena Small Tracts and Hoselton Rd – International Airport Substation R2 (August through mid-September).
- Dale Rd and Broadmoor Ave from Hoselton Rd all the way to the end of the FAI runway – International Airport Substation R3 (August through mid-September).
- From Easy St east, including Lakeview Dr, the Richardson Hwy and Old Richardson Highway all the way to mile 353 of the Richardson Highway – South Fairbanks Substation R2 (October through end of season).
- From the Substation at Brewster St on Old Steese Highway North. This circuit feeds north and east. Old and New Steese Highways to Fox to the north, and Strawberry Rd on Steele Cr Rd to the east. This includes Steele Creek Rd, Bennett Rd, Gilmore Tr, Goldmine Tr, Haglebarger, Sunny Hills, Broadview, Jade, Prospect Park Subdivision and Valley View Subdivision – Kasalek Substation B5 (October through end of season).
- Just beyond the railroad tracks at Anderson – Nenana Substation R2 (April through May).
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does GVEA clear right-of-ways?
GVEA maintains more than 3,000 miles of power line. This is done seasonally, April through October, but power outages happen year-round. We clear for these three basic reasons:
- A clear right of way enables our line crews to quickly access power lines, identify outage causes and make repairs. Maintaining cleared rights of way has helped shorten the length of outages considerably.
- To prevent hazard trees from falling into the lines. Trees falling into power lines are one of the leading causes of power outages. As clearing progresses through our power grid, hazard trees are identified and removed.
- To prevent trees from growing into the line. Trees growing into power lines become energized and are hazardous to people, pets and equipment. Also, electricity going into the ground costs us all money, similar to leaving your water running while no body is using it.
How much area will be cleared?
Most right-of-way easements are 30-feet wide. We normally cut all brush to the ground, so there is a ground-to-sky clearance.
What is a hazard tree?
Hazard trees are trees with severe defects, which may cause the tree or part of the tree, to fail and damage our equipment, such as a high-voltage power line. Examples include:
- Dead Trees
- Decayed trunks or root systems
- Severely leaning or overhanging trees
- Trees with high potential to fall into a line due to snow load
GVEA has certified tree-risk assessors who can evaluate hazardous trees to determine if there’s potential danger. If it is determined that a tree poses an unacceptable risk to our equipment, we may remove it.
Please note: Due to limited resources, we do not remove trees that are not in danger of damaging our equipment. If you are clearing around your service drop and suspect you may fall a tree into the power line, we recommend you hire a contractor.
To report a tree you suspect may be a hazard tree, phone our operations office at 451-5692.
- Never attempt to trim or remove hazard trees yourself. The result could be damage to GVEA’s facilities and you will be held responsible for any repairs. Worse, you could be injured or killed. When in doubt, please call 451-5692.
- Never touch a tree in contact with a power line. Trees do conduct electricity and can cause serious injury or death.
For more informaiton on hazard trees, click HERE.
How are members notified of GVEA's ROW clearing plans?
Golden Valley Electric attempts to notify residents well in advance. Members in areas where power lines will be cleared should receive a postcard notification (click HERE to view the 2021 postcard). Even if we will not be working on your property, we may have to access our work area through your right of way. Members are usually notified by mail of work being done in your area, but someone may talk to you in person or leave a door hanger. This gives you the opportunity to contact us before work begins. For more information, call our Right-of-Way Maintenance Department at 458-5717.
What kind of equipment does GVEA use to clear?
You will see us clearing with machines, as well as hand clearing. Mechanical clearing is done with a Kershaw brush mower, BobCat forestry mower and a Sky Trim. The mowers cut and mulch the brush. The Sky Trim, which has a 75-foot boom with a rotating saw blade, cuts tree beanches growing towards the power lines. Care should be taken to stay well away from the machines (300 feet is the recommendation), as they can throw pieces of wood or other debris that could cause injury.
Our hands cres clear where the Kershaw mower can’t go, due to restrictive terrain, lawns or close proximity to buildings. Hand crews cut and stack brush along the edge of the right of way, trim the tree branches that the Kershaw Sky Trim cannot reach, and remove hazard trees system-wide.
Will you clear around my electrical service drop?
Service drops are the lines that connect your house or business to GVEA’s high-voltage lines. Since the service drop is owned by the homeowner, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain it. The service drop should be kept clear of trees and brush. Note that small twigs and leaves brushing against the line should not cause any problems with your electric service.
Golden Valley Electric may evaluate hazard trees threatening a service drop, but we are not obligated to cut them. If you have trees you wish to remove that are not classified as hazard trees, GVEA recommends hiring a contractor.
GVEA can also disconnect your service for you in some instances to make felling of the trees easier and reconnect service when the work is complete. There is not a charge for this serviceduring business hours, but please try to provide at least 5 days notice.
Note: It’s the member’s responsibility to maintain a 4-foot-wide (ground-to-sky) path from their meter to the next pole.
If you would like to report a suspected hazard tree or schedule a temporary disconnect, call out operations department at 451-5692.
Links to Arboricultural Sites
General Information on trees, planting and care:
Do you know that where you plant trees can save you energy? Learn where to plant your trees: http://forestry.alaska.gov/images/treetools/alaska_landscaping_house.jpg