Crane kills power

Traffic is diverted after construction accident near 405 Freeway knocked out power for more than five hours.

August 22, 2008|By Jack Salisbury

A downed power line slowed traffic and forced a number of drivers onto the freeway following a construction-related accident in Costa Mesa on Friday morning.

Costa Mesa Transportation Service Manager Raja Sephuraman said the power line went down during construction on Fairview Road just south of the 405 Freeway. The city’s contractor, Griffith Company, was working on the project to widen the road when a crane came into contact with a control line — a line used to support the pole.

The control line broke, wrapping itself around a live wire, and both came crashing to the ground. Sephuraman said there was no traffic at the time, however. No one was hurt.


The accident led to the loss of power in nearby street lights and in several Costa Mesa residences, Sephuraman said.

“Everything got shut down right after that,” he said. “That’s what happens when there’s a failure of mechanism — it shuts off the power.”

The houses were not without power for more than an hour, while a Costa Mesa officer orchestrated traffic until power was restored to the street lights about 2:15 p.m.

Fairview Road south of the 405 Freeway was blocked off through Baker Street from 9 a.m. until the lights were restored. As a result, those headed southbound on Fairview Road toward the 405 and 73 freeways had to take the entrance. Traffic on the north, south and east sides of Baker Street was also diverted, according to Costa Mesa Officer George Rose.

The construction adding an extra lane to Fairview Road has been going on since January and will hopefully finish within the next six months, Sephuraman said.

He also said that while the incident was rare, it was not unheard of in construction projects.

“They should have been careful, but these things do happen,” he said. “But not too frequently.”

Costa Mesa’s transportation services is looking into what happened to avoid a repeat.

“The contractor and the foreman, they’re supposed to watch for these things,” Sephuraman said. “They’re supposed to take precautions. We’re going to find out what happened.”

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