Employee Spotlight: Cameron Hall
Cameron Hall is a foreman. He has worked for KEC for nearly 20 years.
What made you interested in line work? How did you train to prepare for work in this field?
I worked as a tree trimmer prior to my career as a lineworker. I completed my apprenticeship through the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee program and then worked for a few years as a journeyman lineman before getting hired at KEC as a journeyman lineman. Last year I was promoted to Foreman.
What does a day look like for you as a foreman at KEC?
Right now, my crew is working on utility relocations on the Highway 41 corridor construction project. Prior to Highway 41 we worked on the construction projects to improve Ramsey and Scarcello Roads and the Garwood
Road and Highway 95 interchange.
Tell us about how the growth in our area has affected infrastructure.
Our area is growing rapidly and it’s no surprise that KEC is growing as well. The growth is requiring KEC to move lines for new roads, add infrastructure for new homes and increase capacity on existing lines. We are going to great lengths to ensure our distribution system is designed to meet our members’ needs both now and into the future. KEC recently completed a four-year construction work plan to evaluate our system’s ability to effectively serve load growth forecasted over the next four years and to outline the system improvements necessary to accommodate that growth. KEC began implementation of this plan in 2021 and will invest nearly
$70 million in its distribution system over the next four years.
Tell us about recent road moves in our area.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is expanding Idaho Highway 41 from two lanes to four lanes to help meet the growing traffic demands between Rathdrum and Post Falls. Construction is expected to last until 2022. Utility line relocations are a significant part of this project and KEC has been involved from the beginning. To start, KEC constructed a new power line along Highway 41 from just north of Mullan Avenue to Poleline Avenue to make room for the highway construction. Line relocation will continue north to Boekel Road in Rathdrum as the road construction moves north. The new poles you see along the west side of the highway are shared with Avista Utilities. They are taller and stronger than the previous poles and are constructed from ductile iron, which gives them a 75- to 100-year life cycle. The added height provides additional vertical separation between the KEC and Avista circuits to allow safer working distances. Learn more about ITD’s project at www.itdprojects.org/projects/id41corridor/.
What has your role been in these road moves?
Currently, my crew is transferring electric service from the old line to the new line for members—we call this a cut over. In some cases, we complete cut overs during the night to limit power outages for commercial buildings during business hours. I also work with road construction contractors to coordinate schedules and projects.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
The growth in our area is definitely a challenge. Our crews are working five 10-hour days each week to keep up with the demand. In addition, the storms we have faced in the last 6-12 months have been a challenge.
What is the best part of your job?
Although I find my work in the line trade fulfilling, my coworkers really make the difference.