Saturday, January 19, 2008

Electrical wiring has been pulled

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

Sacrifices in the face of adversity are becoming commonplace around here.

By the terms of our agreement for construction of the Library/Depot, we are required to run an adequate power line up into the new structure. After that, General Contractor Cordova is responsible for electrifying the building.

As those of you who are following this project know, we arranged with Southern California Edison for a 400 amp service for the new building. This was accomplished last year through a major effort on the part of our own director-electrician Phil Motz and the assistance of several other volunteers. The 400 amp service was brought in and is at the ready in a new Power House that was constructed by our volunteers.

The immediate remaining challenge was to get that power conveyed underground from the Power House some 200+ feet to the Library/Depot building. This past week Gail Andress came over from Nelson, Nevada and used our backhoe to dig a ditch for the required 2" conduit line. Phil Motz and others laid the conduit and then the ditch was covered.

The final task was to get three strands of "000" power line and a smaller ground line through the conduit. Phil laid his plans carefully for this but got skunked by the severe weather Thursday and Friday of this past week. It was just too cold and windy. Not only that, but we are up against a time schedule because Phil is poised to return to Indiana this coming week.

So, taking advantage of a bit of softening in the temperature and wind, Phil and his crew tackled the job today. In addition to Phil, his team consisted of; Gus Lind, Morris Swain, Dorothy Beal, Bob Beal, and Hugh Brown. Working aginst difficult odds and adverse weather the job was accomplished today.

If you go out there to the new Library/Depot building, you'll see the wires coming out into the building right where they are supposed to be. Then, walk a couple of hundred feet to the Power House, where the 400 amps are just waiting to be put to work, there's the other end of the wires.

Much credit goes to this crew and especially Phil who designed the whole thing, procured the conduit and wire, and organized and supervised the team that saw it through. The wire was laid in the best spirit of the Friends of the Mojave Road and the Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association at no cost to the MDHCA except possibly for the materials.

The job is done. That's the bottom line. There'll be no holdup now. The subcontractor in charge of electricals can step right up and finish the job and electrify the building at the appropriate time in the construction cycle.

Three cheers for Phil Motz and his wire pullers!