14th Street Undergrounding: Complete
The PUD and contractors completed the 14th Street and Katherine Street undergrounding work mid-July, as part of the City of Port Townsend’s Discovery Road Project.
The project involved converting existing overhead electrical lines to underground along Discovery Road supplying customers on Katherine Street. Additionally, crews were able to remove overhead lines at the intersection of 14th Street and Cliff Street, converting the lines to underground.
Beyond the aesthetics of having no overhead lines in neighborhoods, undergrounding of utility lines can also provide improved outage resistance by avoiding line contact by trees or vehicles. Underground work often involves the use of open trenches, dug down several feet to protect the lines, as well as the use of horizontal boring machinery. Boring machinery allows contractors to move quickly and minimize disturbance along roads.
The new lines are set away from the future Discovery Road Project area to ensure the Utility can access for repairs. Infrastructure upgrades such as undergrounding of wires matches the continued efforts by the City with the Rainier Street & Upper Sims Way Subarea Plan. This Plan provides a safer walking and crossing space for pedestrians, plus dedicated bike lanes and improved energy conservation and lighting for the streets themselves.