Saturday, April 20, 2024

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RTM to Utility Wires: We Will Bury You

Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight paved the way for the completion of Main Street’s underground utilities to enhance the downtown streetscape.

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Some of the wires to be buried. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

By a 24 to 2 with 1 abstention vote, the legislative body approved a $328,000 appropriation to remove the remaining three utility poles at the intersection of Main Street, Avery Place and Parker Harding Road at Gorham Island and to bury the communications wires.

Public Works Director Pete Ratkiewich, who made the request, said the poles’ removal would allow his department to complete the repaving of Main Street and to begin repaving of Parker Harding Plaza.

The three poles, which Ratkiewich called unsightly, currently support only communications wires because Eversource removed the overhead electrical wires several years ago.

Labor would comprise the bulk of the cost in removing and burying the Cablevision and Frontier wires, he said. It is estimated that 12,000 pairs of wires would need to be reconnected.

“These being fairly large communications cables require quite a bit of labor on either end,” Ratkiewich said.

“In the larger context, it will allow us to continue the streetscape in the downtown and make the downtown a more inviting place to come to,” he added.

Before the vote, local developer David Waldman lauded the proposal saying, “This is the end of what we’ve been trying to do for the past 14 years.”

— James Lomuscio

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