, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 8, 2013

Many questions, few answers at hearing

WEST NEWBURY — About 20 residents attended a public hearing on Wednesday to learn about plans by National Grid to install new electrical conduit on roadways near their homes. However, most of them left the meeting with little more information than they had when they arrived.

David Boucher, a representative sent by the electric company, had few answers to the questions raised about the project by selectmen and the abutters. And sketches of the plan design provided by National Grid were frustratingly hard to read and incomplete.

In the end, selectmen decided to continue the hearing until later this month to give National Grid an opportunity to properly address the concerns raised at the hearing.

Because of numerous cable failures in a neighborhood off Crane Neck Street, National Grid is seeking permission to install 3-inch underground conduit and new cable along the route of the existing direct varied cable starting 35 feet northeast of the center line 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, Hill Top Circle and at least a portion of Woodcrest Drive. Five pull boxes will be installed to assist with the installation of the cable, a petition to selectmen from National Grid stated.

In order to accomplish the work the public roadways in the target area will be excavated and, in some cases, work will take place on portions of private property.

Boucher couldn’t tell those present if all properties in the neighborhood would benefit from the upgrade or if — as it seemed to appear on the design — half a dozen homes at the top of Hilltop Circle would be excluded.

Selectman Glenn Kemper said he wouldn’t approve the project unless all residents in the neighborhood would benefit from the upgrade.

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