OPPD’s network of more than 200 underground vaults are built to high standards. They must be to face all kinds of pressures: overhead traffic and construction, seismic activity, water and salt seepage. And they are a common fixture of downtown Omaha.
The vaults last about 60 years, which means OPPD must rebuild one or two each year to maintain reliability. OPPD’s Asset Management and Maintenance Optimization Department inspects and assesses the vaults as they age.
After they choose a vault for a rebuild, a team of engineers must design reliable electrical systems, while also considering safety, the latest construction standards and environmental concerns.
The construction occurs throughout the year, from the dog days of summer to frozen stretches of January. The process can take over a year, from inspection to completion.
This video takes you through the whole process of this rarely seen part of OPPD.
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