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Liberty to begin downtown Joplin infrastructure improvements

On Monday, April 19, Liberty utility will begin a two-year electric infrastructure improvement project in downtown Joplin to help improve electric service reliability. Construction will take place in the downtown Joplin area, north to south from A Street to 15th Street. and west to east from Porter Street. to Illinois Street.

To protect the safety of crews and contractors, this project will result in several planned electric outages in the downtown Joplin area. Liberty customers will be notified in advance of these outages by Liberty customer service representatives. While these outages will be necessary for the safety of crews,

Liberty and its contractors will work together to keep impact to customers as minimal as possible.  During the duration of this project, some roads or lanes may be closed for the safety of crews and traffic re-routed through an alternate area. While traveling in the area, please watch for traffic signs and drive with caution.

As part of this project, Liberty contractors, Capital Electric and Burns and McDonnell, will convert 4kV distribution line to 12kV line. 12kV circuits have 3.5 times as much electrical capacity as 4kV circuits. Additionally, 4kV electric systems are becoming more outdated and circuits in downtown Joplin are not currently compatible with the surrounding 12kV circuits.

This limits power switching capabilities during outages. By converting to 12kV line, Liberty will have increased power switching capabilities, helping crews restore power more quickly during outages and minimizing the number of customers impacted during an outage.

Additionally, hundreds of poles and transformers will be upgraded. Existing H-frame poles will be replaced with modern, more resilient single pole configuration. The new poles will be better equipped to withstand extreme weather and other disturbances. Capital Electric and Burns and McDonnell will also work with Liberty to build two new substations which will replace aged Liberty substations 64, 284, and 100, all located in the downtown Joplin area.

Much of the infrastructure that will be replaced is some of the oldest in Liberty’s Joplin system, originally added in the 1940s through 1960s. By updating to 12kV line, adding new substations, and replacing aged poles and equipment, Liberty will also add an opportunity for economic growth in the downtown Joplin area.

“This project will help strengthen our system to improve service reliability for our Joplin customers and allow for economic growth, both of which are important to Liberty and our community.” says Tim Wilson, Vice President, Electric Operations of Liberty Central Region.

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