TEP set to hold an open house about controversial Midtown Reliability Project

TEP set to hold an open house about controversial Midtown Reliability Project
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:58 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Tucson Electric Power is getting ready to hold another open house on a controversial project that’s aimed to deliver more power to Midtown Tucson.

The Midtown Reliability Project involves a new transmission line that stretches from TEPs Irvington substation to the DeMoss substation near Grant Road and I-10.

More than 60 neighborhoods will be impacted by this and many of them have pushed back on this project saying they don’t want anymore overhead powerlines and would rather have them buried underground.

TEP says burying these power lines is more expensive and in some cases could be five to ten times more than installing overhead lines.

The utility company also says placing the lines underground isn’t as reliable as people may think.

Despite that, neighbors say there are still plenty of concerns that need to be addressed. One of them is the possible impact on property values.

“We are an overhead utility meaning our distribution systems and transmission systems are installed overhead so when you look at property values in the Tucson area, the entire area contains these systems,” spokesman for TEP Joseph Barrios said.

But neighbors and even members of the Tucson City Council don’t think it’s enough.

”I think TEP is being tone deaf to the public right now, they really need to listen to the fact that the general public wants them to be a good partner and that means you’re going to take some of these transmission lines and put them below ground, emphasis on the word some,” Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik said.

As both sides work to find a compromise, TEP is holding a open house, so you can have your voice heard. It’s happening Nov. 16th at the DoubleTree Hotel - Reid Park.

It starts at 6 p.m. and there will be a presentation on the project at 7 p.m.

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