Tallahassee Announces Route for New Power Lines

The city is trying to keep up with growth on the east side of Tallahassee, but in trying to find a place for new lines. Plenty of residents told the city "not in our backyard."

Power lines on Stadium Drive look a lot like what the city needs to build more of on the eastern side of town. Utilities manager Kevin Wailes says a route that runs mostly on Mahan Drive is the top choice.

"There were a lot of factors that went into the decision, but among those were the fact that Mahan is a more commercial area," says Kevin.

Patrick martin lives in a subdivision off Weems Road, where the proposed route would run, but he's not worried.

Patrick Martin, a resident in the Weems Road area, says, "They've gotta put 'em somewhere. Some people will complain probably, but I don't think that will be a problem. This town's beautiful anyway."

So why not just bury the power lines? Well, there are reliability issues, environmental issues, not to mention it's about ten times more expensive.

"If you have underground transmission, it is extraordinarily difficult to fix it, to repair a general problem, an that type of repair would take weeks, for example."

City commissioners will plug in on the issue December 10. County commissioner Bob Rackleff said months ago he thinks the power lines will ruin the look of Mahan Drive as a gateway to the city. He was pushing for the lines to be buried, but the city says that would turn a $5 million project into a $35 million project.