Crews will break ground later this month on a project to bury utility lines in Middletown, near Sachuest Point. Three Aquidneck Island nonprofit groups partnered up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pay for the $1.2M project.
Thirty-five utility poles and the power lines they carry will be buried underground for more than a mile, according to Valerie Talmage. She’s the executive director of Preserve Rhode Island, one of three groups on Aquidneck Island that spearheaded the project they dreamed up in 2011.
“We realized that we not only had an area of really extraordinary scenic quality, but we had an area that was very vulnerable to the growing intensity of storms and the impacts to the coastal infrastructure,” said Talmage.
Superstorm Sandy damaged the utility lines, leaving the Sachuest Wildlife Refuge without power for about six months. Talmage says burying the power lines will protect them from future storms and restore the area’s sweeping scenic views.
The project is also intended to improve safety for motorists and migratory songbirds.