>>>THE Switch was Thrown!
The Big Bear Boulevard
Over-head to Under-Ground
afternoon of July 18, 2017 passers-by on Big Bear Boulevard paused as others
joined public officials and Bear Valley Electric Service (BVES) employees at
the site of the large power transformer, located on the west-side of Big Bear
Boulevard between CVS Pharmacy and Union Bank. BVES Director Paul Marconi BVES
welcomed several special guests including: Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Herrick, City Councilman
David Caretto, City Manager Jeff Mathieu, guests, local Press and Bear Valley
Electric Service employees. City Engineer David Lawrence, was recognized for
his contribution with Big Bear Boulevard Project. Recently, Lawrence resigned
with the City of Big Bear Lake and is now the General Manager of Big Bear Area Regional
Valley Electric Service Director Paul Marconi eagerly explained the reason for
the Switch Throwing Event, which symbolically
represents energizing the Big Bear Boulevard Overhead to Underground Electrical
Distribution System Conversion.
jokingly commented ‘The Switch Throw
was analogous to a ribbon-cutting ceremony’
But before I throw the switch, which by the way I did train, so hopefully all of the lights that are supposed to stay ON, do so! He went on to give a short
version of ‘The Project’ and recognized key players and organizations that made
it all possible.
potential Big Bear Boulevard Project dates back to at least the 1980’s, when the
vision was first pursued by establishing an Underground District. Further progress toward this effort was made
in the early 1990’s during the Big Bear Boulevard expansion project. But it would take a few more years to get the
right critical mass of compelling requirements, stakeholder consensus,
regulatory approval plus funding.
the missing power poles in the AFTER photo
Project converted the overhead electrical distribution system along Big Bear
Boulevard from Paine Court to just beyond Standfield Cutoff – a little more
than approximately three miles.
purpose of the project is to improve public safety and protect the reliability
of our local power service and beautify the main thoroughfare.
- Workers hurry to put on the finishing touches
– Throwing the Switch! Councilman Caretto and Mayor Pro-tem Herrick
Stevens-Moore and Dave Caretto look on as Paul Marconi explains the cable that
will carry the
underground electricity to residences and businesses in Big Bear
the overhead system from 125 poles and 40 overhead transformers
37,705 feet of 1000 EPR 15 KV Cable know as “million”
11,660 feet of 750 EPR 15 KV Cable
25 easements were executed
12,300 hours of BVES Lineman hours and countless hours by other numerous key
- BVES STAFF were witnesses to the historic event
- Janet Stevens-Moore of Bruin Trojan Realtors, Inc,
City Manager Jeff Mathieu and David Caretto
The Director especially recognized and expressed
BVES’ sincere appreciation to many stakeholders involved. City
of Big Bear Lake were true partners in this effort and in particular David
Lawrence and Andrew Simmons. CALTRANS
was a key partner.
Dedicated Local contractors:
that designed half of the project
Electrical Contractors who designed the other half – Brendan Haynes
Petrelli Electric led the construction work from
Paine Court to Pine Knot Avenue – Sal Petrelli – Bill Murray
who did all of the construction work – JP Montero
who did all of the cut-overs – Bob and Steve Ludecke
S & C
who supplied the major electrical equipment – all of it state of the art – Pete
Roth – Thank you!
Paul Marconi expressed a ‘Thanks!’ the local
media – KBHR, Big Bear Grizzly and Big
Bear Lake Newsroomfor their continued
support, interest and willingness to help BVES, communicate with the public. “They really went out of their way to assist
us in getting key messages out such as project status reports and those painful
The Bear Valley Electric Service Staff was an all-hands-on-deck project from
planning to completion. Special
recognition went to:
joined Hand-shake with the principals that participated in the Success!
- Councilman Caretto, BVES Director Marconi, City Manager Mathieu and Mayor
- BVES Director Marconi, Bear Valley Paving CEO J.P. Montero and City Manager
Ngyen Quan from BVES’ Corporate office – who
pushed the rope through the regulatory process.
Eric Cardella, designed, planned and coordinated all aspects of
executing the project. David Burks coordinated
all of the line-work. Bob, the buyer
Bradford worked diligently meet to all the need requests for the job. Daniel De
Clercq coordinated all of our public outreach – Note those signs designed and
posted on Big Bear Boulevard!
The Engineering Group – The major plans,
changes, work orders, permits, easements, etc, etc.
And the Linemen – WOW!
The Accounting Group documented and processed
the contracts, purchase orders, invoices, material sheet, time-sheets…the
paperwork seemed to never end. Bear
Valley Electric Service (BVES) thank our customers, residents and businesses,
and our visitors who were so patient and willing to work with us in getting
this project done!
By E T Russell