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Con Edison unveils next phase of project to upgrade power lines in Middle Village

Aug. 30, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Con Edison will begin work on Phase 2 of its project providing Middle Village with upgraded above-ground and new below-ground power lines starting next month.

Con Edison officials joined Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Services Committee members on Tuesday, Aug. 29, to discuss Phase 2 of its project, which will cost an estimated $10.6 million to complete.

Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Services Committee members on Tuesday, Aug. 29.Photo by Anthony Medina

According to Con Edison officials, the second phase of the project, working on the Juniper Valley Loop circuit, will focus on improving the overhead power lines and laying underground cables along Metropolitan Avenue.

Neighborhoods should begin seeing work between 65th Lane and 75th Street that will extend north up to 58th Avenue later in September. Digging for underground cables will take place mostly on Metropolitan and 69th Street.

The Juniper Valley Loop circuit provides power to 4,800 Con Edison customers and with the second half of the project, the loop will be split into another loop called the Fresh Pond Loop, Con Ed officials shared.

The benefits of splitting the circuit include fewer residents and businesses experiencing outages or interruptions. Building below-ground cables also aims to prevent outages caused by environmental conditions such as thunderstorms or fallen tree branches.

In September 2021, Con Ed first announced its program to CB 5, introducing underground cables along Juniper Valley Road and 77th Street in Middle Village. The success of the pilot program helped generate the momentum needed for Phase 2.

“From that undergrounding, we are able to see that our goals are achieved. What we were looking to see is if as a result of undergrounding those cables, we would have fewer outages. It was very simple, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Richard David, speaking as Con Edison’s director of Queens community affairs at the Aug. 29 meeting.

Additionally, Con Ed is installing 1,300 feet of variable cable that is less susceptible to environmental hazards and cable damage overall. Pole replacements will also take place in the removal of a series of overhead primary wires.

Juniper Valley Loop also provides power to multiple high-traffic areas along Metropolitan Avenue, including the MTA Metropolitan Avenue Station, Christ The King High School and P.S. 120.

After the presentation, committee members addressed key requests from residents for better solutions to pedestrian and traffic hazards in their neighborhoods.

One concerned resident as part of the Albanian American Islamic Center on Myrtle Avenue urged the committee for its help to convince the Department of Transportation to evaluate the mosque’s “no parking” sign.

The left-hand turn coming onto Myrtle Avenue from 72nd Place is cause for concern, as some claim parked cars make it difficult to see oncoming traffic and for pedestrians to cross the street. On top of recommending the DOT to take the problem under consideration, the committee encouraged the creation of a pension to better motivate the city agency.

Another main issue involved traffic conditions on Metropolitan Avenue and 64th Street where children are usually picked up by yellow school buses. The committee recognized the need for the Department of Education to address designated pick-up locations for children in the area and encouraged a potential request for a DOT investigation.

The next Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Services Committee Meeting will be held inside the CB 5 district office, located at 61-23 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

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