DC PLUG: Enhancing reliability and resiliency of electrical service in Washington, DC

May 1, 2024

In May 2012, a specialized task force, the Power Line Undergrounding Task Force, was developed to enhance DC’s electric distribution system to be more resilient to power outages caused by weather-related events. A partnership between Pepco and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) was established and the DC PLUG initiative was started. With a long history in the District, the project has resulted in moving primary power lines underground.

EXP, as part of a joint venture with Hayat Brown Engineering and AB Consultants, was selected by the DC PLUG to provide design, engineering, surveying and support services during construction for five feeders in the District’s 5, 7 and 8 Wards.

EXP’s role on this project is to complete the civil design of the proposed Pepco facilities including manholes, tapholes, transformer enclosures and duct banks and provide a summary of material quantities. In addition to the design services, EXP provides customary project administration services, DOEE permitting, coordination with DDOT,  DC Water design review and mitigation measures for potential conflicts, as well as Washington Gas design coordination and design reviews, tree impacts identification, mitigation and coordination with UFA.

“Our goal is to help DDOT and Pepco reduce the impact of power outages on DC’s communities. We recently celebrated the design completion of Feeder 15166 in Ward 8. Throughout the design process, we diligently worked to integrate a new feeder into an existing underground environment. To fit in a new feeder, we had to navigate the system as well as its manholes that could be as large as 6 ft wide and 7 ft deep. While challenging, this is how we make our community more reliable and resilient – tackling one duct bank and manhole at a time,” said EXP’s Director of Design Cerasela Cristei.

Each feeder is a primary distribution power line that provides services to approximately 1,100 residents. To ensure project success, the team collaborates closely with PEPCO and DDOT to optimize the design of proposed facilities and adhere to guidelines and regulations.

Learn more about EXP’s design and utility work here.

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