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SRP Confirms start of engineering on 101-Ray power line project
By Doug Snover

January 21, 2006

Salt River Project has started engineering work on the Loop 101-Ray Road route for its planned 69-kilovolt power line.

One question not yet settled, according to Bryan Patterson, Chandler's public works director, is how to string the new high-voltage lines along Ray Road where there already are power lines on wooden poles.

One option being considered is replacing the existing wood poles with taller metal poles that are stronger and can be spaced farther apart, he said.

Patterson said there are 19 wood poles along Ray Road today between Loop 101 and McClintock that could be replaced by

approximately 14 or 15 metal poles, he said.

Chandler and Tempe officials, meanwhile, are planning to use "aesthetics funds" provided by SRP to bury nearly a mile of the high-voltage line near residential areas along southbound Price Road on the west side of Loop 101 between Warner and Ray roads.

Chandler's share of the cost to bury the portion of the power line inside its city limits is estimated at $1.25 million, according to Patterson.

Chandler also will use about $895,000 in SRP "aesthetics fund" money to bury the power line for about one-quarter mile along McClintock north of Ray road to connect to the existing Houston substation there, Patterson said.

That brings Chandler's estimated investment in burying the power line to

approximately $2.15 million.

Tempe's investment to bury the controversial power line along Loop 101 about a half mile south of Warner Road has not been announced, but is likely to be similar to Chandler's $1.25 million.

Since 1989, Salt River Project has allocated a small portion of its construction budget to an "aesthetics fund" that communities can use to hide or bury unsightly utility equipment. Each community receives an annual allocation based on how much work SRP has planned inside that community.

Burying the high-voltage Hanger­Houston power line will tap about two years' worth of Chandler's "aesthetics fund" allocations, according to Patterson. Tempe, meanwhile, has spent more than $3 million since the mid-i99os burying smaller power lines along McClintock Drive north of the Houston substation and on other streets in the area, according to Assistant City Manager Jeff Kulaga.

SRP announced in December that it had selected the Loop 101-Ray Road option, a.k.a. "Option F' on the utility's route map.

SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said at the time that construction will take

"probably close to five months."

SRP expects demand for electricity to exceed capacity by mid-2007 in the area is bounded roughly by Baseline Road to the north, Pecos Road to the south, Cooper Road to the east and Rural Road to the west.

The new line through the Kyrene Corridor is needed to avoid overloading existing power lines in that area, utility spokesmen say. It will connect the Hanger substation at Guadalupe Road and the Loop 101 freeway with the Houston Substation on McClintock Road, north of Ray Road.
































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