Gulf Power will start on a storm hardening project next week to upgrade transmission poles in Pensacola.

Approximately 36 wood poles will be replaced with concrete poles along a two-mile stretch, mainly on Jackson Street. The project will start on Q Street, head east on W. Jackson Street and will end at Coyle Street.

Crews will work from Monday through Thursday mostly during normal work hours and the project will require some lane closures for the safety of Gulf Power crews and motorists.

Concrete poles are wind-rated at 140 mph and have a longer lifespan than wood poles, which will help during storm season to reduce the number of outages.

“This project is part of our plan to replace 400 wooden transmission structures with concrete or steel structures during 2021,” said Mike Spoor, Gulf Power vice president.  “Strengthening our grid through hardening projects like this will help with reliability in both good weather and bad, and ensure we are better prepared as we approach storm season.”

Last year Gulf Power recorded its best reliability year in company history and has improved reliability by 50% since joining the Florida Power & Light family two years ago. The best-ever performance is due in large part to the company’s continuing investments to make the energy grid stronger, smarter and more reliable, including adding smart grid devices, installing stronger poles and storm hardening. In 2020, the company was awarded the ReliabilityOne® Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance in the Southeast suburban/rural service area, presented by PA Consulting to recognize the best suburban/rural service area investor-owned utilities in the United States.