Winter Park studies costs of burying power lines along Highway 40
April 2, 2008
Winter Park officials hope to remove the power lines between Kings Crossing Road and Vasquez along Highway 40.
“This is the first place in Grand County where we have looked at burying the main lines over a long stretch of U.S. 40,” said Nick Teverbaugh, Winter Park mayor.
Mountain Parks Electric of Granby estimates it would cost between $2 million and $3 million. Workers would bury power lines underground along Lion’s Gate instead of the highway, Teverbaugh said.
“We have approved doing the engineering for that, which would give us a good estimate of how much it would cost,” he said. “It is something that has been high on a lot of people’s agenda for a very long time.”
He said the council is working with Mountain Parks engineers to achieve an exact estimate and decide who would finance the project.
Other areas of Winter Park and Grand County have buried power lines, Teverbaugh said.
“We generally require new development to bury the power lines within their development.”
Any new building is considered a new development, Teverbaugh said. At Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved Mountain Parks to install 57-feet of underground power lines and vaults at River Walk, parallel to the Ski Idlewild Road right of way.
“The most visible benefit is the aesthetics,” Teverbaugh said. “The business community thinks it would be more of an attractive community if the power lines didn’t run down the highway.”
Health benefits also exist when the lines are buried, he said.
“It’s probably safer to have it underground,” Teverbaugh said. “The disadvantage is that it’s probably a little harder to maintain.”
It costs more than $1 million a mile to have power lines buried, he added.