Throughout all its projects, Elia ensures that it takes all necessary measures to limit the work’s impact, preserve the environment and maintain residents’ quality of life.
Stages of workElia is planning to carry out the work involved in the Avelgem-Avelin project in two successive stages.
1 Strengthening the foundations and reinforcing the pylons
The drilling will be done in the first two weeks. After that, it will take two to three weeks to make the concrete connecting block.
The work to be done here depends on the type of pylon and the pylon’s characteristics, and can take anything from a few days to several weeks. The procedure we follow depends on the part of the pylon we are working on. For instance, if we are working on the top of the pylon (where the conductors are), we need to switch off one of the two circuits, which we can only do for a pre-determined period.
2 Replacing the conductors
We need to switch off the circuits to work on the conductors. The first circuit is set to be replaced in 2020, the second in 2021. It should take around three months to complete the work that requires the circuits to be switched off, once all the preparatory work is done (e.g. building access roads, setting up protective measures).
In a sense, managing the high-voltage grid is like managing a road network, with ‘motorways’, larger and smaller ‘roads’, and the necessary interchanges between them. Whenever a ‘road’ is out of service for a given period, another ‘road’ takes over from it to ensure security of supply for households. This system enables Elia to avoid power cuts.
Organisation of the workRespect for local residents and the environment is a priority for Elia. While every project is different and very much depends on the type of infrastructure involved, Elia always organises its work in collaboration with all relevant parties (including the contractor, the local authorities, the local police and landowners) and regularly updates local residents on the progress being made.
While work is ongoing, Elia implements a series of measures focused on three key areas: safety, noise control and mobility management.
- Noisy work is carried out during working hours, unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authorities with a view to reducing the impact on mobility at specific times.
- Site vehicles only leave their engines running when necessary.
- Work areas are always marked out clearly and a site safety coordinator is always on hand to ensure that activities on the site run smoothly.
- Furthermore, site meetings are held with contractors to discuss points for attention (e.g. itinerary, waste sorting).
- When the existing line is being dismantled, safety gantries are put in place while the power cables are pulled to protect infrastructure along the route (roads and homes).
- If the work requires temporary road closures, appropriate diversions and signs are put in place in consultation with the local police.
- Work-in-progress signs are erected in dialogue with the local police. These signs provide residents with all the information they need (in particular, the start and end dates for the work).
- Elia strives to ensure that local residents always have access to their homes.