With a green light from state regulatory officials, PSE&G plans to resume work on 65-foot utility poles in Ridgewood next week.
During a meeting Wednesday morning with village officials, representatives of the utility laid out a timeline for the remainder of the project with work resuming Monday and ending in February or March of next year, according to Heather Mailander, the acting village manager.
Pole installations were scheduled to begin on Ridgewood Avenue in the area of the high school from Dec. 26 to 29, proceeding up the road in the following months to connect with lines in Paramus.
David Steinberger, a leader in the neighborhood opposition group Individuals Concerned About Residential Electricity, asked the village Wednesday night to support the placement of the transmission lines underground.
According to Mailander, utility officials estimated the cost of burying the lines would be $3 million just for the stretch of the project along Spring Avenue and Hope Street, and said doing so would place the neighborhood on a different circuit, which could delay its restoration of power after outages.
“They could not [place the lines] underground at this time – they have to move forward,” she said. “But it is something we could consider in the future.”
Village officials said that other details of the utility upgrade, such as the route the lines take through Ridgewood, were also unlikely to be revisited since a state Board of Public Utilities decision allowing the project to move forward.
“My sense is we fought the good fight and unfortunately we didn’t win,” Mayor Paul Aronsohn said.
Citing a greater public interest, the BPU last month declined Ridgewood’s petition against the 69-kilovolt lines through the neighborhood, planned without consultation from village officials.
The reliability project, connecting substations in Fair Lawn, Paramus, Dumont and Bergenfield, had been under moratorium since the summer pending the state’s decision.
Work in other towns within the project area continued while Ridgewood aired its objections.