Make Lincoln Beautiful: LES moves power lines underground
Lincoln Electrical Systems has begun a new project in the downtown area. The project is starting just south of the Haymarket area. It's part of the "Make Lincoln Beautiful initiative."
"The purpose of this project is to mainly convert the overhead lines to underground. The benefit for us as linemen is to reduce the outage times," LES Apprentice Lineman Kevin Sullivan said.
Requested by the city of Lincoln and in conjunction with urban development, the outlook of the project is to bury the aged overhead facilities to match the updated look of restored building infrastructure.
"I think it's one of those really good collaborative projects to make sure everybody gets on the same page and so that we can hit deadlines," LES communications Rachel Barth said.
"So the first step in our project is to install duct work coming out of our source and going to our nearby customers. This duct work will house new conductors and we'll be pulling those conductors in on our second step and third step will be mostly retiring our old structures," Sullivan said.
For now, this alley on 8th and N street will be out of commission, but is for the better.
"It's kind of a disadvantage to have the alleyway out for a while, but as far as upgrading, it provides more reliable power and it's a better, safer environment for the public in general," Sullivan said.
It's not just functional, it's also aesthetic.
"It's a good way to kind of clean up the alleyways, make Lincoln look prettier, you know not only aesthetics, but for our purposes it help with reducing power outages, safety for the public, things that we're always concerned about," Barth said.
The wiring project will continue into Fall. Within sight of the next year, the overhead poles will gradually be removed.