At a time when the price of everything is rising fast, it probably seems nuts to say we should make utility costs even higher by burying all those wires everywhere in town. But we should.
I’m told that burying utilities in Connecticut would cost more than $1 million per mile so I’m aware that doing this will add up to gigantic numbers that we’ll have to pay if the community chose to take up the idea. The upside, though, is a town that looks better.
As Scenic America tells on its website, other communities across the country are doing it, from San Antonio to Saratoga Springs. Why? Because the tangle of wires and poles all over the place is ugly. Aesthetics has a value. But there are also practical safety and reliability issues that burying utility lines would support.
I’m merely guessing, but with more than 200 miles of roads in the town, most of them lined with poles and wires, it would probably cost at least $250 million to bury every line in town. That’s a huge number, by any standard.
But it doesn’t need to be done all a once. If the town made it a goal, we could do a few miles a year – more if things lined up right some years – and eventually the job would be done. It would be a gift to our children and grandchildren to give them a prettier, safer town. It would also boost property values as the wires came down in neighborhood after neighborhood.
I’m just tossing this out there, but I do believe in it. Why should dangerous wires be dangling overhead wherever you go in West Hartford? Let’s begin to put them underground where they belong. Since new subdivisions never have wires overhead, it’d be like giving our aging town a makeover. We can be young again!
Seriously, it’s worth exploring. Let’s not put our heads in the ground. Let’s put the wires there instead.