Company to replace power line

Published 9:14 pm Monday, December 28, 2015

Dominion Virginia Power will hold an open house next week to answer questions about its electric transmission line crossing the Nansemond River.

The power company plans to replace the structures holding the line crossing the Nansemond River southeast of Hobson, spokeswoman Janell Hancock said.

The existing line is about 50 years old, and there has been significant steel and concrete deterioration, Hancock added.

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“We’ve got to replace this line so we can ensure there’s continued reliable electric service,” Hancock said.

The new structures will look similar to the old structures but will be slightly taller, Hancock said. The average height increase for the five structures in the water will be eight to 14 feet, and the structures on the shore will be 10 to 20 feet taller than the existing structures.

The new ones will be taller because they will have taller, stronger foundations built to withstand storm surge, Hancock said.

No additional right-of-way is needed for the project, Hancock said. The old structures will be demolished after the new structures are in place.

The company plans to file its application for the project with the State Corporation Commission early next year, start construction in the summer and finish construction in 2017.

Some on-land construction to replace fiber-optic wires used for power system communication also will take place, Hancock said.

Outreach letters to nearby residents and oyster ground leaseholders have been sent out, Hancock said.

The open house will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5921 Harbour View Blvd. There will be no formal presentation; people can come and go whenever they like.

“People can just kind of come in and get their questions answered,” Hancock said. “They can come and go at their convenience.”

According to Dominion’s website, the company has studied the timeline and costs associated with submerging the line and determined that would have a larger environmental impact and require the purchase of property on either side of the crossing for transition stations, adding time to the overall project.

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