Utility promises city project will be worth any pain it may cause

PPL Electric Utilities is going to invest about $3 million for electrical improvements in downtown Williamsport over the next three years, and it will cause traffic changes in the work areas.

That’s what PPL officials who attended the Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday said as they reaffirmed the company’s commitment to keeping the City Council, administration and public informed about the status of the projects.

The committee took no action on the PPL discussion.

As of this week, the utility has de-energized an underground vault, at Third and Laurel streets, and it will rebuild the vault and replace electrical equipment over the next two months, said Jonathan Hall, a company spokesman.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane on West Third Street between William and Pine streets for the construction period, he said.

The Mid-Town parking deck will remain accessible and River Valley Transit bus traffic can continue to access the Trade and Transit Centre at the work location, he said.

The Community Theatre and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce in the transit building will be accessed by the Third Street entrance.

By the middle of May, work will begin on relocating a vault at the corner of Willow and Laurel streets. That work will continue through the summer.

“We’re committed to providing the city with a modern electrical system and committed to making it go smoothly,” said Teri MacBride, PPL Susquehanna Valley Regional Community Relations director. “It could very well be painful at times, but our job is to make sure there are long-term benefits.”