PPL Electric to change Derry Township power line project, remove towering poles

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DERRY TOWNSHIP, Dauphin County, Pa. --- What went up will, eventually, come down.

After a month-long assessment into a four-mile transmission line upgrade, PPL Electric says they found construction flaws along the line's path.

The entire project will see a total makeover and will exclude newly placed approximately 70-foot tall power lines.

Map showing proposed underground power line (black) compared to existing aboveground power line (orange).

“They found the best route would be to alter the route a little bit and put the entire line underground,” said Jess Baker with PPL Electric Utilities.

She said construction on the new line is expected to begin this summer.

She also said the current power lines will stay up through the duration of the 18-month project to keep the power running.

The towering poles are expected to come down in fall of 2020, Baker said.

The power lines drew ire from residents along Forest Avenue, who mobilized to voice their displeasure with the project.

Baker said PPL heard their concerns.

“Community impact is definitely something we take very seriously. So, that’s one of the factors that went into this decision,” said Baker.

The change of plans is a sigh of relief to residents, such as Steve King, on Forest Avenue.

“It feels fantastic, everybody is elated,” said King.

However, King said their questions don't end with the latest update.

He said residents want to see a full, comprehensive plan for the updated project, specifically with concerns on the timetable for the pole removal and remediation work.

All things considered, King said they're content with being a part of the conversation now with PPL Electric.

“They’re becoming more transparent. We’re very happy that they have started to listen and that they’re changing their plans,” said King.

On Wednesday, PPL Electric will hold a series of open house events at the Derry Township Municipal Building at 600 Clearwater Rd, Hershey, PA 17033 to discuss the updated plan.

The events are held in time blocks based on roads in the path of the plan:

From 6pm-7pm: Elm Ave, Cherry Dr, Almond Dr, Beech Ave, Cocoa Ave, and West Governor Rd

From 7pm-8pm: Java Ave, Fishburn Rd and Homestead Rd

From 8pm-9pm: Forest Ave, Leearden Rd, Sand Hill Rd, Bromley Ct, S. Hills Dr, Sterling
Ct, Apple Ln and Peach Ave.

PPL Electric says if your street is not listed above or you are unable to attend during the times shown above,
please feel free to attend either of the other time slots.

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