Power Outages Highlight Need For University Of Utah’s $99M Utilities Fix

Ann McClure's picture

At 2 a.m. Monday it happened again: Eighty University of Utah buildings went dark, the latest in an ongoing series of power outages on the state’s flagship campus. The outages disrupt classes, imperil research and stress administrators as they struggle to keep an aging network of corroded pipes and brittle wires intact with temporary but costly fixes.

Crews quickly restored power to all but eight buildings around the northeast rim of Presidents Circle, which were back online by 8 a.m., but not before officials issued an advisory that the buildings would be closed all day.

"It’s getting worse. Where it’s getting worse is the customer hours in particular. We might have the same number of outages, but they are longer, impacting more buildings," said Cory Higgins, the U.’s director of plant operations.

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