Year two of a project to put more than 1,000 miles of power lines underground has begun by Wisconsin Public Service.
The System Modernization Reliability Project last year saw lines put underground in the Post and Pelican Lakes area near Elcho, Highway 70 east of Eagle River, in the Boulder Junction area. Work was also done in the Highways 101 and 141 in the eastern section of the WPS coverage area. This year the crews will be working in the Lake Lucerne area, Wabeno and Hiles in Forest county, the northwest side of Eagle River, Highway 70 west of Minocqua, along with work in the Star Lake area. Other work areas are Lily in Langlade county and areas in Marinette county.
Richard Reitz is a WPS Senior Regional Electrical Engineer. He says there is extensive planning work that needs to be done before line is put in the ground...
"....there's a lot of permitting from the town, county and state. A lot of environmental issues that need to be looked at, and a lot of historical issues that need to be looked at in the process....."
When done three years from now, the project to will cost $220 million dollars. The Northwoods was a key focus of the project where trees often damage power lines during storms.