Oncor to replace power lines

07/16/2014 12:00 AM

07/18/2014 1:25 PM

The town of Trophy Club is experiencing rapid growth, and with that growth comes the need for additional reliable electricity.

Wooden stakes tied with pink ribbon along Texas 114 at Trophy Club are signs that change is on the way. They mark the path of where Oncor will replace the electric transmission lines and towers with taller towers and new lines.

The new towers will carry higher voltage lines and a second circuit, which will provide more electric voltage to the growing area.

“It’s no surprise that with the tremendous growth in Texas comes a greater demand on electricity resources and the need to periodically update infrastructure,” Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders said. “The transmission towers and lines running along the highway in front of Trophy Club are scheduled to be improved, allowing for greater demand in our area.”

The project is expected to begin sometime this month (July) and will require the removal of several trees. However, when appropriate, Oncor plans to “top” the trees instead of removing them.

The trees are in the Oncor right of way, and property owners will be notified of the removal.

“The Town Council and staff will work closely with Oncor officials to help make sure the community impact is as minimal as possible,” said Sanders. “The good news is that the lines also service Trophy Club residents and the upgrade should improve the electricity capacity to Trophy Club.”

The cost for Oncor to replace the towers and transmission lines is approximately $2 million, while burying the lines would cost nearly $40 million, with the town absorbing the extra $38 million, according to a notice on the town’s website.

The project impacts high voltage lines that run along SH 114 from the areas of Roanoke to the intersection of T.W. King Road and Plaza Drive in Trophy Club, continuing into Southlake, Grapevine and Coppell.

“This project is vital to those that live and work in this community,” Oncor Area Manager Don Perfect said in a press release.

In all, Oncor will be replacing roughly 31 existing structures and installing larger wire to increase the load capacity. The project is expected to take place during various periods through December.

A Grapevine city official said they will be tackling the issue later.

Jennifer Hibbs, assistant city manager, said the project will extend into Grapevine, but that the major impact on the Grapevine portion “isn't scheduled for quite some time.”

She said work is underway on Highway 26 to a dead end on Texan Trail.

“We are still assessing the impact and appropriate actions,” the assistant city manager said of the entire project.

Ben Thatcher, Southlake assistant city manager, said the city is aware of the project but Oncor has not yet told staff what impact to expect.

“We have yet to hear when they will start and when they will get to Southlake,” he said.

He said there are distribution lines along Kimball Avenue and Dove Road that may impact property owners and the city has offered to help facilitate discussions between the utility company and property owners.

Staff writers Marty Sabota and Dustin Dangli contributed to this article.

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