HALIFAX, NS – You may be tempted to look up – way up – in the coming weeks, but Nova Scotia Power is asking drivers to exercise caution if they do.
The utility is having 11 steel transmission towers painted along Halifax Harbour. It will be quite a sight but the utility is reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road, or pull over in a safe area if they want to see what’s going on.
Painters will climb the towers, which range in height from 24 to 85 metres, with a brush and a bucket of paint attached to their gear.
By the time it’s all done, they will have used almost 3,000 litres of paint.
The painters won’t use scaffolding but will be clipped into the towers with harnesses. A company called Tower Power of Surrey, B.C., which specializes in painting live transmission towers, is carrying out the work.
The painting will begin August 3 and is expected to take two months. Rigging will start going up July 27 in preparation for the project.
“The work is taking place in highly visible public areas in Halifax and it is going to be something to see, but we would like to remind drivers to please be careful and to pull over in a safe location and park their vehicles if they want to watch the work. Safety is always our top priority at Nova Scotia Power, both at work and at home,” said Harris McNamara, director of safety at Nova Scotia Power.
Two of the towers are near the A. Murray MacKay Bridge – one is beside the bridge on Barrington Street and the other is across from Seaview Park.
The other nine are on Marginal Road, starting at the VIA Rail lot across from Seaport Market and visible from such locations as the Cunard Centre and residential streets near the grain elevators.
Some of the towers were painted a number of years ago when lead was permitted in paint. Tarpaulins will be placed around those structures to contain paint that the workers scrape off. The paint will be disposed of by a company that specializes in the handling of hazardous materials.
All the towers will be painted light grey except for one near the MacKay Bridge which will be painted orange and white to meet Transport Canada’s standards for a structure of its height and location.
The project will cost just over $1 million and will help prevent corrosion.