Scenic America Newsletter
HomeIssuesUndergrounding Utility Wires

Undergrounding Utility Wires

E-mail Print PDF
Power to the People publicationFEATURED PUBLICATION
Power to the People

For more information and to purchase this publication click here
More than three million miles of electrical cables are strung across the country and at least 180 million telephone and cable television lines coexist with above ground power lines. As a result, the aesthetics of our communities and landscapes are often overwhelmed by unsightly utility wires and accessories.

Because of the benefits of undergrounding utilities, 9 out of 10 new subdivisions bury utility lines. In addition, dozens of cities have adopted comprehensive plans to bury or otherwise relocate utility lines, including San Antonio, TX; Colorado Springs, CO; New Castle, DE; Saratoga Springs, NY; Williamsburg, VA; Tacoma, WA; and Frederick, MD.

Together, communities and utility companies can reduce the visual impact of utility lines and poles; saving scenic beauty, improving safety, reducing utility disruptions, and increasing property values.

Benefits of Relocating Utilities

Utility wire undergrounding and relocation projects are expensive. Communities need to convince their local officials and utility companies of the benefits of wire relocation or burial.

Aesthetics
The appearance of an area can be greatly improved by reducing the visual clutter of utility wires. Undergrounding utility wires allows communities to highlight their unique beauty without a maze of poles and wires in the way. Without overhead utilities, communities can more readily undertake improvement projects such as sidewalk widening and tree planting without having to snake around poles or trim vegetation to make way for power lines.

Reduced Maintenance
Falling tree limbs, high winds, and heavy snows are just a few of the things that frequently cause utility disruptions by destroying overhead lines. Burying lines eliminates weather-related power outages and provides more reliable service to subscribers.

Safety and Community Health
Burying lines eliminates fire hazards, accidents, and safety risks from power outages due to downed lines. Relocation also reduces possible health risks from electromagnetic radiation and improves road safety by removing or reducing the chance of motorists striking poles.

Economic Development
Many revitalization experts agree that investing in improving the appearance of traditional commercial areas is one of the best ways to attract new business and stimulate economic development. Beauty benefits business, and minimizing the visual impact of utilities can be a major strategy to beautify and revitalize an area.

 
 
 

News

  • Billboards won't be allowed to grow taller in Texas
    August 27, 2014 
    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has withdrawn its June 2014 proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways in the state to be taller. After receiving public comments from more than 900 Texans and 15 orga...Read more »