Cable Replacement Pilot Project - Big Springs

UPDATE - November, 2023 

Street sweeping will occur on Friday, November 10 at approximately 10 a.m.

In May 2024, FortisAlberta, as well as our landscaping contractors, will be on-site to inspect all remediation efforts. Any deficiencies or challenges to these efforts will be addressed at this time.  

For information on tree vouchers as part of the remediation process, see FAQs below.

To our valued Big Springs customers, 

In late summer, 2022, you received notice that an underground cable replacement pilot project, scheduled for your community, would be postponed to 2023. This project is now scheduled to proceed this coming July

We would like to thank residents for their feedback and close consultation throughout the planning phase of the project. We understand that the impact to property is a concern for some area residents and would like to reassure you that, working closely with the City of Airdrie, this cable replacement has been planned with the best interest of the Big Springs community in mind.

It is our commitment to deliver improved, safer and more reliable electricity delivery service to you, your family and neighbours.  


In recent years, FortisAlberta has seen a notable increase in outages, service calls and required maintenance to primary, secondary and street light cables that power Big Springs. With an electricity delivery infrastructure first developed in the late '70s, age and impact from the elements over the course of their life has resulted in less reliable, and in some cases, unsafe performance of the underground cables in your area. With these cables nearing end-of-life, their replacement is necessary to ensure safe, reliable, service to your property long into the future. 

Project Details 

This project will involve FortisAlberta contractors accessing and replacing eight underground cables delivering electricity to homes in the Big Springs community. Access to these cables will require trenching, which will mean the presence of large vehicles and equipment. Some traffic disruption will occur, though we will work to limit this where possible.

We ask all residents to maintain a safe distance from vehicles, equipment and worksites to ensure their safety.

Work will take place on weekdays only, beginning the first week of July and lasting for approximately six weeks. Crews will be replacing primary and (FortisAlberta owned) secondary cables. These replacements, with cables of high modern standard, will provide improved service and are designed to handle increased electrical load.
Planned power outages will be required. Community members who may experience an outage will be notified by FortisAlberta 48 hours in advance. These disruptions are necessary for the safety of crews and community members.
Landscaping contractors will be on-site throughout construction to ensure property is well-maintained and undisrupted beyond what is required as part of the below ground work.

Action and Benefits to you

A key element of this project involves increasing all secondary cables that run under the public area just in front of each property, to the edge of the property from 100A to 200A.

This replacement also provides opportunity to upgrade secondary lines located directly under your property that connect to your meter. The cost of this service will fall to each respective homeowner and we will work with an electrician of your choosing during installation.

This replacement is optional, though encouraged, as these lines are also aging. Replacement in the summer can mitigate risk of failure in colder months when energy usage increases and may take longer to restore in freezing conditions. To replace this line while our crews are on-site to support, and while below ground access will already be available, please call FortisAlberta at 310-WIRE (9473) with the contact information for your chosen electrician. 

Do you need to upgrade your secondary cables?

No. As customer needs are changing, this opportunity to upgrade secondary lines located under your property that connect to your meter. The cost of this service will fall to each respective homeowner. This secondary cable is located after FortisAlberta’s owned and maintained equipment ends, the Utility Right of Way (URW), and the property owner’s equipment begins. We will work with an electrician of your choosing during installation.

To replace this secondary line, please contact your electrician of choice to discuss the secondary work required and associated costs. Costs may vary due to the location of the customer owned secondary. If you are proceeding with an upgrade, please contact FortisAlberta at 1-855-514-4202 with the contact information for your chosen electrician for coordination.

Potential Impact to your Property 

Contractors will work to minimize property impact, though unfortunately, the cable replacement may result in the removal of trees, bushes, gardens and other landscaping located within the URW on customer property. If a walkway, driveway or other barriers limit URW access, these will be temporarily removed or accessed during construction. If a driveway is disrupted, a steel plate will be placed on the open excavation each evening for safety, and to ensure driveway access.

For residents who may have, or experience, accessibility issues as a result of driveway, walkway, or property impact, please call 1-855-514-4202.

City of Airdrie Land Use Bylaws state that it is the responsibility of the landowner to remove obstructions along a URW. We understand the inconvenience and are taking this responsibility away from our customers. As a part of this pilot project, FortisAlberta will be working closely with City of Airdrie approved landscaping contractors to ensure greenery that can be replaced or relocated is done so, though all areas within and URW must remain clear of future obstruction.

You may have already notice marked trees or other items on your property. Property owners whose property will be impacted will be contacted by FortisAlberta or crews in the area regarding a Property Restoration Voucher to mitigate the cost of tree, bush, garden or other landscaping replacement. Vouchers are non-transferable and will only be provided to those whose property has been impacted. Vouchers do not cover sod, soils or aggregates as impacted areas will re-sodded as part of the pilot's general restoration plan. Vouchers are valid at Blue Grass Nursery.

Visit the nursery online for full warranty information on new plant material.

Additional terms and conditions can be found on the voucher itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we, Big Springs residents, have to do?
How will my garbage get collected?
Can I cut my grass while these flags are in my lawn?
Has FortisAlberta performed an Environmental Impact Study as part of this project?
What are you doing with trees that are being cut down?
What can I expect construction to look like?
Who do I speak to if I have specific concerns about the Utility Right of Way on my property?
Will my rate change if I upgrade my service to 200A?
What is the warranty period on remediation or reclamation?
What is the value of the property restoration vouchers?

*Utility Right of Way Explained
The URW is the area within, on, over and under a portion of land for the erection, installation, construction, operation, maintenance, inspection, testing, alteration, reconstruction, repair, removal, replacement and relocation of electric power line, telephone and telecommunications lines and gas line and all related equipment, apparatus, and accessories. The URW boundary covered under each respective property’s Right of Way Plan is registered with Alberta’s Land Titles Office. 
Under the agreement, utility providers are entitled to perform work as deemed necessary for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, or upgrading their system (in this case, the underground cables in need of replacement in your community). 

For additional details on the City of Airdrie's Land Use Bylaw, click here.

To learn more Utility Right of Ways in Alberta, visit Alberta Land Surveyors - Easements and Rights-of-Way.

Please note: URW bylaws, rules and regulations may differ between cities, towns, municipal districts and/or other areas in which they are established.