NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 9, 2013

National Grid to begin underground cable replacement

(Continued)

In an email message following the community meeting in August, Shampine confirmed that because the secondary lines along the top half of Hilltop Circle are not failing at this time, they will not be replaced. According to her, the section of secondary line that runs “out of the transformer, along the road and into a hand hole” is National Grid’s responsibility to maintain and repair, while repair on wire going into an individual home falls onto the property owner.

According to documents provided to selectmen at a public hearing in February, the company plans to install 3-inch underground conduit and new cable along the route of the existing direct varied cable starting 35 feet northeast of the centerline of the intersection of Crane Neck Street and Robin Road and continuing in a southerly direction for approximately 5,600 feet. Other roads impacted by the work are Crescent Drive, Hilltop Circle and at least a portion of Woodcrest Drive.

Five pull boxes will be installed to assist with the installation of the cable. Selectmen have insisted that National Grid take out a $20,000 surety bond to cover any disturbances in the town’s right-of-way.

Last week, Digsafe pre-marked clearance areas that will indicate for workers and others the location of a safe operating distance from the live primary voltage. National Grid expects the work will take place within the same footprint of as current electrical lines, but if large boulders or ledge hampers underground work, the job will be completed within the next closest workable area.

Resident Tom Atwood said he and other residents grew concerned when they discovered that in some cases, Digsafe marked areas that run “a few feet” off the public way and onto private property. Atwood stressed that he has never given National Grid or its subcontractors permission to install electrical service on his land and he expects all work will be conducted within the public right of way.

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