The highlights from his presentation were:
- Aboveground lines can have a useful life as long as 80 years. Most underground lines have a useful life around 30 years, with some as short as 15 years.
- Because of the overhead wire ban the original city has underground wires. Georgetown has underground wires and apparently they have a lot of problems with reliability. Despite all of this all new development in DC; and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland have to place the wires underground.
- Underground is less susceptible to damage due to wind, trees, ice or squirrels.
- The cost to relocation aboveground to underground is expensive. The $3.5 million/mile figure that is tossed around is only for the primary lines. There is an additional cost for the secondary lines.
- The cost to property owners (approximately $2200 residential and $16,000 commercial). This assumes the electrical panel in the home is up to code. If it isn't then the panel has to be up to code before PEPCO will underground.
- To underground in a community, every homeowner would have to agree to pay the fee. For example, if there are 100 homes on the block and only 99 agree, PEPCO will not move forward.
- Repair time is 1-2 hours for aboveground and about 8-9 hours underground
- Ward 7 has the 2nd most dense tree canopy. Ward 3 has the densest.
- The estimate for 1.8 miles was about $20 million; however estimates were never prepared specific to the Pennsylvania Ave Great Streets Project. They City did ask for estimates to underground at the commercial areas and that was about $1 million for each.
- Great Street project was originally only local money ($8-10 million).
All-in-all, it was a good meeting.