Saturday, March 14, 2015

Transfer station grading begins

Another hillside in Carbon Canyon is being leveled and graded, this time by Edison crews building a transition station to connect overhead lines to underground lines for the Tehachapi project.

A good view of the activity is available from the utility road near 15067 Avenida Comprades at Gold Shadow Lane off Rancho Hills Drive.

The three-acre station will be composed of steel structures and electrical components with the tallest structure at 108 feet topped by a 25-foot extension.

Dump trucks are inching up the hillside at the Pine Valley Estates entrance at Canon Lane and Eucalyptus Avenue, hauling dirt to the transition station site.

The 200-foot towers will soon bear 500 kV lines and 37 aviation marker balls strung across the canyon scenery, including the Oak Tree Downs gated community of 135 property owners.

The 36-inch diameter orange, yellow and white balls will be located on the highest positioned wires between the tower near the city’s western border at State Road and the tower west of the western end of Eucalyptus Avenue, according to Edison.

No aviation lights will be installed on the wires.

A supplemental environmental document addressing requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration said the visual impacts of the marker balls are unavoidable, because their purpose is to make the wire spans more visible to pilots.

When the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ordered Edison in July 2013 to tear down the towers, the directive did not apply to the canyon community because of its topography and hilly terrain.

Jason Tullai, who lives on Everest Drive in Oak Tree Downs, said the 500 kV lines will pass directly above his property and those of his neighbors. “Our community was excluded from the comprehensive solution,” Mr. Tullai said. “We’re going to be the ones to live with high-voltage towers, not just close to our properties but directly over our properties. How is that fair?”

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