Streetcar overhead wires energized - Tucson News Now

Streetcar overhead wires energized

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson city officials have posted a sticker on every street car pole along the nearly four mile route.

It says "OVERHEAD POWER LINES". That's not an usual warning. But what comes next is a bit unusual.

It says "track access permit required for all work in this area."

"You have nothing else this in the city of Tucson," says Shellie Ginn, project manager for the modern streetcar. "We need to make sure everyone understands they are operating under new rules."

There will soon be four miles of energized, high voltage overhead lines powering the streetcar from Tucson's West side, through downtown , across the university and ending near UMC.

And all along that line are trees and other vegetation. Trees that need to be trimmed because they will grow into the power lines.

:If you accidentally touch one of those lines and are nor grounded, you will die," says Ginn.

It's not an idle warning.

The city says it's 750 volts and touching the wires can be fatal.

That's why anyone working along the line, landscaper, tree trimmer, homeowner will be required to take a safety class and given a permit.

The class and permit, which must be updated annually, are free.

The hundreds of poles are also places where people and promoters may want to hang banners.

Parades may want to have tall floats.

The wires are 19 feet in the air but the city cutoff will be 14 feet, six inches.

The city's safety division is working on rules for parades and banners right now but it has not released them yet..

The contractor has begun energizing the lines along certain sections to test them for reliability.

'We want people to assume all the lines overhead are energized," Ginn says.

The more people do that, the city hopes, the less likely accidents will happen.

For more information, 520-791-3333. 

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