LP&L more than half done burying power lines, upgrading systems downtown
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock Power & Light is more than halfway done with their project to bury power lines and upgrade systems downtown. LP&L representative Matt Rose says 30 out of 55 lines have been buried so far.
Rose says the project started around 2012 with the City of Lubbock seeing it as a first step toward downtown revitalization. Rose says the utility saw it as a chance to upgrade the power systems, but the project didn’t always run so smoothly.
“If we were to take the above ground lines, those that are on the poles, and bury them under the ground, then it effectively could change the voltage of those lines. Therefore, those lines would not correspond with the buildings that they’ve historically been hooked up to. So, about the 2014 timeframe, there was a temporary pause.”
They came up with a solution in 2015, when other equipment was introduced to change the voltages without inconveniencing the businesses. Rose says these upgrades are also needed to help combat harsh weather.
You can tell by looking at the poles downtown which ones LP&L has worked on. Those poles have been sawed at the top, taking off the top electric wire with it. Rose says the wires that remain are transmission lines such as Internet providers, so those wires are out of his hands.
“We have what are called pole attachment agreements. These agreements will vary from pole to pole and area to area, but a lot of work has been done to kind of consolidate that and clean up those pole attachment agreements. They are in constant contact with those communications companies.”
Rose says the planning into burying the lines takes extra time because it involves careful planning of which wires to take down, where to bury them, and then notifying the companies of outages. Rose says the actual burying of the lines only takes a couple of hours.
“Today, within the end of this year, we will have completed another seven blocks. Twelve blocks are currently slated to be completed in 2022.”
Copyright 2021 KCBD. All rights reserved.