MERCER HILL HISTORIC DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

Established 1999


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CURRENT ISSUES 

 

OVERHEAD WIRES:

Burying Utility Wires Underground


There has been a proliferation of unsightly overhead utility wires in the Mercer Hill Historic District in recent years.  A significant percentage of these overhead wires are simply passing through the neighborhood, servicing the growing business and commercial interests in the areas around Princeton.  These cables are an eyesore, marring the beauty of this historic neighborhood.   They also interfere with the growth and care of existing trees and limit the ability to plant new trees.  In one case, a  mature tree was toppled onto the roof of a neighborhood home when it was hit by the bucket of an out-of-state cable company's truck.   

The Mercer Hill Historic District Association has worked with the Princeton Shade Tree Commission to seek a directive from the Princeton Borough Council that, whenever roads are reconstructed anywhere in the Borough, an analysis be made of the cable problem, with options and cost projections given for burying the cables.  

On October 9, 2001 the MHHDA made a presentation to the Princeton Borough Council,  Burying Overhead Wires: A Request for Action, to support the burial of these utility wires as streets are reconstructed throughout the Borough.

    Click on the title above to view this presentation. 

    Then click on images to advance from slide to slide. 

 

    Text only version also available.

 

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On October 1, 2002,  the Princeton Borough Council agreed to fund 50% of an independent engineering study to estimate the costs involved in burying the overhead utility wires in the Mercer Hill Historic District during upcoming road reconstruction. The other 50% was paid for by donations from six institutions and more than 30 residents of the Mercer Hill Historic District.   The completed study by Urban Engineers was presented to the Borough Council in March of 2003.  The cost of burying the overhead wires in the context of  planned road rebuilding projects in the Mercer Hill Historic District was projected at $25 million.  The cost was too high to proceed with burying the overhead wires.
 

See:

Underground Wiring Study Approved by Borough Council by Jennifer Potash.  Princeton Packet,  September 27, 2002.

http://www.packetonline.com
 

Borough considers using underground wires during local street reconstruction by
http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2002/10/09/news/5645.shtml

Hiding utility wires is buried in costs:  Independent study puts cost in Mercer Hill area at $25 Million
by Jennifer Potash. Princeton Packet,  March 25, 2003.  http://www.packetonline.com

 

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OTHER IMAGES SHOWING THE PROLIFERATION OF WIRES IN THE MERCER HILL HISTORIC DISTRICT:

September 5, 2001 storm damaged trees, snapping overhead wires, supporting cables 
and utility poles,
cutting power and damaging homes:

   

Photographs documenting the proliferation of 
overhead utility wires:
1997:                                                                2001:
  

Bucket truck from out-of-state
cable company toppled tree onto house:      
   

Impact on trees: