Council votes on a plan for monopoles, moving project to north side of the train tracks

Selectman Bill Gerber said the vote by the Connecticut Siting Council on Thursday left more questions than answers.

Nicole Alarcon Soares

Feb 15, 2024, 1:28 PM

Updated 64 days ago

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UPDATE: UI updated News 12 on Thursday evening, saying the design phase will take nine to 12 months
During a virtual Energy and Telecommunications meeting on Thursday, the panel voted on the United Illuminating Monopole Power Line Construction Project, and approved an alternative plan to move the proposed monopoles.
Under the new approved plan, the utility poles that connect power lines to the power grid would be moved to the north side of the train tracks.
Selectman Bill Gerber said the vote by the Connecticut Siting Council on Thursday left more questions than answers.
"We would like them to come back with a plan to underground the lines. If they are to pursue above-ground lines to the north of the track, we need to see the plan. We have not seen anything, Gerber said. “Property owners private and public need to understand the impact of this plan and we think it's really unusual that the Siting Council approved it without knowing what the plan actually is."
United Illuminating officials said they will now enter a design phase to change the plan to align with the Siting Council's decision.
United Illuminating released the following statement to News 12: 
“UI appreciates the effort the Connecticut Siting Council has put into evaluating the Fairfield to Congress Transmission Rebuild Project as well as the participation from both the Fairfield and Bridgeport communities. The CSC’s final decision for the project reflects the Siting Council’s consideration of all the evidence placed before it during these extensive proceedings. 
UI’s obligation, as it has been from the start, is to replace aged and deteriorated infrastructure that is more than 60 years old, fortify the grid for electrification demands expected to double for New England customers by 2050, and allow for upgrades to the CTDOT rail corridor - all while minimizing costs borne by ratepayers as well as community and environmental impacts.
Significant work lies ahead to design and implement the selected alternative, and UI is committed to keeping municipalities, commercial, and residential customers informed every step of the way while working individually with abutting homeowners and impacted businesses." - Jim Cole, Vice President of Projects at UI.


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