Powergrid work generating calls

By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
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Construction activity on the Lakeside Church property at the intersection of Oak Avenue Parkway and East Bidwell Street is generating numerous calls to the Community Development Department. The construction activity is tied to a project by the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District to install 10,000 feet of underground conduit for the future “69 KV power grid” to serve new development in Empire Ranch, according to Sue Ryan, the city’s public information officer. The project includes a number of existing streets in the Lexington Hills development, including South Lexington Drive, Reeves Way, Baurer Circle, Kilsby Way, Prewett Drive and Silberhorn Drive. This project is an alternative to SMUD’s original proposal to extend the existing overhead power lines through the Parkway, according to Ryan. Ryan said protests from residents and a request from the city caused SMUD to move the power grid underground. In early June, SMUD began trenching and excavation for the power grid. A project of this magnitude generates a tremendous amount of excavated material and requires a tremendous amount of backfill material. SMUD is currently stockpiling these materials on the Lakeside Church property for ease of construction. There are few, if any, locations other than the large undeveloped area in the vicinity of the project site that could accommodate the large volume of material necessary to complete the project, according to Ryan. SMUD obtained permission from Lakeside Church to utilize their property prior to the commencement of construction, she said. Folsom’s Community Development Department is providing on going construction inspection of the trenching project as well as monitoring the stockpiling and staging area on the Lakeside Church property to ensure compliance with encroachment permit conditions and other state and local requirements regarding dust and water quality, according to Ryan. “They seem to be coming along OK,” said Steve Krahn, of the Community Development Department. “We haven’t had any real complaints about dust but we’ve had a lot of questions because of its proximity to East Bidwell Street and people driving by and seeing all the construction.” The Community Development Department anticipates that this project will be complete by the end of August. “They met with us probably six months ago and obtained a permit and they were waiting for an encroachment permit to do the work,” said Krahn. “We were concerned about have 10,000 feet of trench out there on the street without it being complete.” Krahn said the construction is being done in phases to prevent that from happening. Serious work on the project began in June. SMUD is stockpiling excavated material and backfill material on the church property for ease of construction, Krahn said. For more information, call Krahn at the Community Development Department at 355-7337. ~ Staff report