Underwood Parkway
Neighborhood Group

Questions or to place an order for a yard sign

Kit Hansen, Chair
414-771-5482
Email Me

Betsy Gonwa,
414-259-0565
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People who have an interest in issues that affect Underwood Parkway in Wauwatosa, WI and its residents, neighbors, walkers, joggers, picnickers, cyclists, etc.

Subscribe to the Underwood Parkway Yahoo! Group

How to Get Involved

 

ATTEND A MEETING:

There are no more meetings, however if you can please attend the Public Serve Commission's Public Hearing. (see below for details)


VOICE YOUR CONCERNS:

Attend the Public Service Commission's Public Hearings November 27 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Wauwatosa City Hall Council Chambers, 7725 West North Avenue, Wauwatosa. Written comments can also be sent to the Public Service Commission until November 26 using PSC Docket Number 5-CE-139 (see address below).   


JOIN THE PRESERVE OUR PARKWAY GROUP:

Click on the YAHOO! Groups Join Now! icon above. 

City and County Resolutions

Preserve our Parkway has worked with Milwaukee County supervisors and Wauwatosa aldermen to pass resolutions that promote the preservation of Underwood Parkway and the adjoining Oak Leaf Trail. On February 2, 2012 the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that prohibits high power transmission lines on Milwaukee County parks, parkways and green spaces. On February 7, 2012 the Wauwatosa Common Council unanimously passed a resolution which prohibits high power transmission lines on parks, parkways and green spaces and in mature neighborhoods in the city of Wauwatosa. The City of Wauwatosa has subsequently retained an attorney to represent the City before the Public Service Commission. 

Petition 

Preserve Our Parkway is circulating a petition asking the Public Service Commission to consider proposed alternate routes that prevent the utilization of Milwaukee County parks, parkways and wetlands, specifically Underwood Parkway, and mature residential areas, such as Walnut Road, as power line corridors, thereby protectiong and preserving the quality of the neighborhoods and green spaces. It is anticipated that the collected signatures will be presented to the Public Service Commission with the resolution supporting a similar position passed by the Wauwatosa Common Council. Contact Kit Hansen at kbhansenapple@sbcglobal.net if you would be willing to collect petition signatures for Preserve Our Parkway.  

American Transmission Company

ATC submitted their proposed routes including Route B (Underwood Parkway and the Oak Leaf Trail) to the Wisconsin Public Servie Commission February 27, 2012, Consequently, comments and letters now need to be sent to the PSC (scroll down for addresses below) 

Public Service Commission

The PSC has granted a 60-day extension to file direct testimony at the request of WE-Energies.  Therefore the PSC's new deadline for accepting public comments is November 26, 2012. When writing the PSC, be sure to include PSC Docket Number 5-CE-139. Let the PSC know that you oppose the utilization of parks, parkways and wetlands as power line corridors and that you are asking them to consider using alternated routes along railroad and industrial corridors instead. Include in your comments personal examples of how high voltage transmission power lines on our parks, parkways and wetlands would impact you. 

The Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing on November 27, 2012 at 1:00p.m. and 6:00 p.m., at the Wauwatosa City Hall Council Chambers, 7725 West North Avenue, Wauwatosa.. It is important that people put this date on their calendars and plan to attend to register their opposition. 

The complete ATC application and what is happening as it progresses through the PSC evaluation process can be viewed at  http://psc.wi.gov 

Project Background

The Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project is being proposed by We Energies and American Transmission Co. (ATC) to reinforce the aging electric system by constructing a new We Energies substation adjacent to the existing Milwaukee County Substation and Milwaukee County Power Plant at 93rd Street and Watertown Plank Road, as well as constructing connections between this substation and the existing ATC 138,000-volt transmission system.

American Transmission Company will be presenting four possible routes of 138-kilovolt transmission lines in order to bring more electrical power to the ever developing County Grounds and Milwaukee Medical Complex. Of the four proposed routes, two will likely be approved by the Public Service Commission and built: one line will connect existing electric transmission lines at 120th Street from the west to the County Grounds site east at 93rd (Routes A or B); and one route will connect from existing transmission lines at I94 north to the County grounds site (Routes C or D). The PSC will ultimately decide which routes to build.

American Transmission Company has stated their preference to build overhead transmission lines versus underground lines due to cost. This project is estimated to cost between $14-40 million, and underground lines would cost roughly double what overhead lines would cost. Of 2,000 miles of transmission lines constructed or upgraded by ATC in the past ten years, only 6 miles are underground.

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Stop Route B

We are against the proposed Route B, which proposed to build a transmission line from 120th Street adjacent to Underwood Creek and Underwood Creek Parkway. The proposed section between 120th and 115th street would cross into a wetland and stream section of Underwood Creek, and require putting in 3 pilings for transmission towers and removal of an 80 foot swath of vegetation. This would damage the functionality and value of the wetland, and could increase flood stage of Underwood Creek (from direct impacts as well as cumulative impacts from other projects such as the Zoo Interchange reconstruction). We fear this project could preclude the ability in the future to remove concrete channel in Underwood Creek and/or to ???rewater??? the natural section of stream, thus making the stream more of a community and natural asset.

The route from 115th street east to Mayfair Road along the Underwood Creek Parkway would destroy the current recreational experience on Milwaukee County Parkland, and create an eyesore for adjacent homeowners. In addition, the proposed lines could impact the health of those who live or recreate along Underwood Creek through EMF and stray voltage. The lines are also proposed to cross a newly restored portion of Underwood Creek east of Mayfair Road where concrete has been removed from the streambed and significant taxpayer funds have been spent to naturalize and restore a natural creekbed in county parkland.

We oppose Route B. If Route B has to be constructed, the transmission line should be buried to minimize aesthetic and community impacts. Trenching of lines in wetland and along the creek should be minimized, with a preference for placing lines in existing, trenched utility corridors or under roadways. However we believe no powerlines should be placed on any park, parkway or wetland, including Underwood Parkway and the Oak Leaf Trail. 

The high environmental and social impacts from Route B justify looking at alternative routes. 

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Timeline

PSC accepted ATC's application as complete 4/14/12. This begins a review period during which PSC is required by state statue to evaluate the application request, including holding a public hearing(s) in the area for which at least 30 days advance notice must be given. Design and engineering is predicted to take place 2013/2014. Construction could begin as son as summer 2014 with a service date spring 2015. 

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Send all comments to the Public Service Commission using PSC Docket Number 5-CE-139. Comments can be sent by mail to:

Public Service Commission (PSC), Gas and Energy Division - 610 N. Whitney Way, PO Box 7854, Madison, WI 53707-7854   Phone: (608) 266-5481
Ali Wali
Case Coordinator
ali.wali@wisconsin.gov
(608) 267-3592
Paul Rahn
Environmental and Social Impacts
paul.rahn@wisconsin.gov
(608) 267-8967
Scot Cullen
Engineering and Costs
scot.cullen@wisconsin.gov
(608) 267-9229
Kathy Ehley
Wauwatosa Mayor
kehley@wauwatosa.net
Milwaukee County Supervisors
Jim Schmitt
jschmitt@milwcnty.com
Lynne de Bruin
lynne.debruin@milwcnty.com
ATC: Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project 

ATC: Project Area Map