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September completion target set for ‘undergrounding’ project

By Staff | Apr 30, 2011

Work along Southeast 46th Lane is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30 and LCEC crews were working toward that deadline this week after breaking ground on the underground transmission line project through the city’s downtown.
The first of three vaults was nearly completed on Thursday, as workers recently installed the massive structure in a 20-foot trench dug along Southeast 46th Lane.
The second vault will be installed 100 feet east of Vincennes Boulevard, and the third 100 feet east of the Del Prado Boulevard and Southeast 46th Lane intersection.
When all three are completely installed, they will allow worker access for future maintenance and repair.
LCEC spokeswoman Karen Ryan said the new transmission line, when completed, will connect the substation in the CRA to the Everest substation.
Ryan said the new line has been needed for a decade.
“We would have put it overhead but the CRA wanted it to go underground. The question was, who was going to pay?” she said.
CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen said the underground transmission line will help preserve property values along Southeast 46th Terrace, which is lined with both businesses and private residences.
Jacobsen said the CRA has not fielded complaints from residents or businesses in the district because of the construction, just people looking for information.
Jacobsen said they were happy the project was under way, and that the CRA might one day look to bury all the distribution lines in the district.
“We’re really glad it’s under way and we look forward to completion of the project with minimal interruption,” he said.
LCEC Key Account Executive Trish Lassiter said the project was a win-win for all the parties involved, especially citizens who will receive continued reliable service.
The transmission line will complete the “loop” throughout the city, reducing the potential for future overloading.
Lassiter said there are very few underground transmission lines.
“Less than 2 percent of lines are underground. It’s not really done, but it is done,” Lassiter said.
The line is scheduled to be energized by the end of 2011. For more information contact LCEC at 656-2300.