Over the last few years, we have experienced tornados, snow and ice storms, hurricanes and major rain storms. During these events, power is often lost and power lines are down, making roads impassable and walking treacherous.
Sometimes injuries and fatalities result. The problems are acute during the time we experience them, but we should be considering long-term solutions to these issues during non-emergency times.
I believe the time has come to consider putting all power lines underground. Many elected officials have recommended this be done. It would cut down on the loss of electric, telephone and cable service; reduce safety hazards; eliminate the need to severely prune trees to prevent branches from touching wires; and raise property values due to more aesthetically pleasing-looking neighborhoods.
Granted, this is an extensive and expensive project, especially during these difficult economic times. A project of this magnitude would take years to complete and would have to be done in stages, but the eventual benefits derived would be substantial.
What has been suggested is that during street reconstruction projects, when new water mains and gas lines are laid, why not put pipes down to enable power lines to be placed underground? This would cut down on overall expenses and alleviate some of the inconvenience to residents if this work were done when the ground had to be opened anyway for other infrastructure work.
We need to look forward into the new century at more progressive solutions to current problems — solutions that are in the public interest and economically and environmentally responsible.