Greens Farms: Poles Apart

Wednesday’s post about the proposed cell tower on Greens Farms Road brought this reaction from an “06880” reader. He’s concerned about that proposed erection, as well as other forms of “visual pollution in the name of progress.” He writes:

Greens Farms Road is also home to 60 (and growing) brand new, high capacity, double height and width telephone poles. They’ve been installed since the electricity substation was put in on New Creek Road last year.

Nyala Farm, one of our most treasured open spaces, hard won by smart planners years ago, has now been fenced in by more than 20 huge electrical poles. They are designed and rigged for a capacity many times what the neighborhood or even the town requires.

BIG telephone poles on Greens Farms Road.

BIG telephone poles on Greens Farms Road.

I wonder if in the discussion for the zoning variance to put the substation in a residential zone, anyone mentioned that it would include all the added scaffolding that would come with it, across our most beautiful road and open spaces?

No one seems to know what the poles are for. The 2 guesses I have heard are: 1) since they are bigger than Westport needs, they carry current to other towns, and alternatively 2) to carry current from the recently laid Post Road conduit to a cable that will be laid from Westport to Long Island under the Sound at Burying Hill Beach.

Maybe they will also run down the rest of Greens Farms Road to the cell tower. Does anyone know?

15 responses to “Greens Farms: Poles Apart

  1. Jack Backiel

    I don’t know what those huge telephone poles are for, but I lived in that neighborhood for 30 years, and I can tell you the poles detract from the natural beauty of Nyala Farms, and are downright ugly!

  2. We covet and love dearly our open spaces as they become less apparent on the landscape but these utility poles are as ugly as hell, aren’t they?

    A forward-thinking approach may have been to consider a stretch of underground cabling as in other, less affluent, communities have done elsewhere. I dunno.

    We work so hard to preserve our natural beauty in this part of the country on so many levels, it seems a shame to have bastardized the rare splendor of Nyala Farm along what’s becoming significantly less of a “Greens Farms” Road. Just saying…

  3. Meredith Hutchison

    I drive this road a few times every day taking my daughter to and from school and have watched with dismay this ugly transformation. One of the few bucolic vistas left in town has been destroyed. Why has the town allowed this to happen?
    Why no discussion of burying the cables under ground?
    I would like to hear answers from our town officials.

  4. Holly Wheeler

    Won’t the power company provide an answer? Clearly, the town has kept mum about it.

  5. I am told by someone who knows: “these are to carry the weight of 3 separate feeder circuits, 2 from the new Sherwood substation on New Creek Rd and 1 from the Compo substation on Compo Road South at I-95 overpass – and power flows to all homes from Hillspoint Road east to the Sherwood SS and from Post Road south to the Sound – all Westport residents – plus supplies Nyala Corporate Center with 3 separate sources of power for extra reliability – something Nyala paid for.”

  6. Holly Wheeler

    Well, I suppose Westport will be happy when the rest of the county is without power and it is not.

  7. Gary Singer

    One of the benefits in living in a well-planned community that is less than 20 years old, and having adjacent communities (combined population:18,000, combined mileage: about 100) is driving for miles and never seeing one pole. Everything is under ground. Residual benefit — no power outages. Comeondown.

  8. Why aren’t the lines buried underground? My in-the-know source says: “Underground is still viewed as a cost-prohibitive option, and only used for new construction where the builder/developer pays the differential extra cost of underground vs overhead. Utilities rarely make the choice to pursue underground due to this extra cost factor – except for when local conditions like urban density or poor environmental conditions make undergrounding a better choice. For the high voltage system built through Westport in 2006 to 2008, actual costs were over 10 times more expensive for underground, but overhead was found to be a huge political risk and was avoided by going underground.

  9. Pam Mozier

    I have underground utilities, and have had maybe two quick power outages in the last 20+ years. Underground may be expensive to put in, but it’s definitely worth the investment.

  10. They could have at least buried the lines next to the open space views, and also explained to the community what else when major construction will take place on public property. Imagine if they had to put up balloons every 50′ around Nyala Farm to show ahead of time what was going down to happen. Chris Woods

  11. Dick Lowenstein

    My unnamed sources corroborate what Dan reported. In addition, the new poles, anywhere from 10 to 15 feet higher than the older, ancient poles, are safer, as the wires are higher, thus reducing the risk that a falling tree will bring the wires down. And since the wires are higher, the vista is less obstructed than it had been.

    • “..reducing the risk that a falling tree will bring the wires down. And since the wires are higher, the vista is less obstructed than it had been…”

      Dick, did you look at the picture?

      It shows the same number of wires close to the ground (maybe more) PLUS a second layer above them, PLUS assorted boxes and apparatus, PLUS many of the poles have additional guy wires running diagonally to the ground, PLUS there are now TWICE the number or poles than before, closer together, than before to carry the load of the additional wires.

      Obviously it costs more to bury the lines; that is why the electric co. passed the cost (of losing our open space view) onto the town. I’m sure no one thought of that at the P&Z when they agreed on the substation, nor was the information volunteered by the electric company.

  12. Sandy Soennichsen

    But those lower wires are the phone lines and cable lines, are they not? Not power lines, so ATT and Cablevision/Optimum better get off their duffs to raise those lines also.