Traffic was backed up a long way in both directions in the vicinity of the Skyway Bridge during the early morning commute yesterday after police closed a section of the QEW so repairs could be made to a hydro distribution pole.
East and westbound lanes of the QEW at the Fairview Street exit were closed due to safety concerns regarding a 70-foot distribution pole near the highway.
The stretch of highway was closed by Ontario Provincial Police as a precaution from 5–7:15 a.m. Motorists were either directed to the Fairview Street off ramp or redirected from the Niagara QEW to Hwy. 403.
Burlington Hydro said that just before 4 a.m. two main hydro feeders, power lines that go into power substations, were locked out in the area.
The resulting outage affected approximately 3,400 customers.
A buildup of roadway salt and ice on the insulators over the long winter caused an arc on the wires and a subsequent fire at the top of the tall distribution pole, said Burlington Hydro.
The pole has a series of power lines that run high above and across the QEW at the Fairview Street exit.
“The safety protocol always is that where wires run across the highway you always close off the highway because of possibility of wires coming down on it,” Burlington Hydro spokesperson Christine Hallas told the Post.
She noted there was no transformer fire and no hydro wires down across the highway at any time.
Burlington Hydro says it began to isolate the outage in order to quickly restore power to as many customers as possible.
Hallas said that just after 4 a.m. power was restored to Maple Avenue, Mapleview mall and Burlington Towers on Ontario Street.
By 4:20 a.m., power had been restored to customers connected to the Port Nelson, Drury and Martha hydro substations.
Just after 6 a.m., power was restored to the remaining customers in the Maple Avenue area.
Source: Burlington Post