Preservation groups say power project threatens Historic Triangle

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19 at 6:41 PM

JAMES CITY COUNTY - Historic preservation groups are joining the fight against a proposed power line across the James River near the Historic Triangle.  

The National Trust for Historic Preservation added the James River to its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list on Wednesday.

The group, along with Preservation Virginia and a coalition of local organizations call Dominion Power's Surry-Skiffes Creek plan intrusive.

In a news release, the groups said, "The James River is threatened by a proposed Dominion Power transmission line project that would cross 4.1 miles of the river atop as many as 17 towers and compromise the scenic integrity of historic cultural areas surrounding the James River. The power lines would intrude on the public vantage points of the Historic Triangle, including Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, which attract six million visitors annually."

They want the company to alter its plans by either running power lines underneath the James River or above ground further down river near an existing crossing so it's less intrusive on the historic area.

Either of these alternatives would help ensure that the public can continue to explore the area’s history through driving, hiking and canoeing, they said.

Dominion Virginia Power wants to build two 500-kilovolt transmission lines from its switching station in Surry County to a new switching station in James City County. That would include an overhead crossing of the James River.

"Dominion is sensitive to historic and environmental concerns," said Scot Hathaway, vice president of transmission for Dominion Virginia Power. "We have recommended a route that is the least impactful and the most economical. Our customers want a reliable, responsible and reasonable solution to meet their electricity needs."

"Dominion thoroughly investigated all viable alternatives, but only our proposal solves all the problems in a timely manner associated with providing reliable power to the North Hampton Roads region," Hathaway added.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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