Sunday, June 03, 2007
We knew all along that we wanted to have our utilities buried if it was feasible as opposed to having power poles run up through the property to the house. We had no idea what it would cost. But the power company got back to us last week and we seem to be all set. Because the nearest existing pole is across the street behind the neighbors house, we had to get an easement from her to bring the line from her backyard to the street and the entrance of our driveway, which she generously granted us (thank you, Mrs. Gates!). Then our excavator will run a ditch up the middle of the driveway, burying two conduits - one for electric and one for telephone - at opposite sides of the ditch a couple of feet apart. The conduits have a nylon cable in them already, so when the electric company is all set they simply attach their electric cable to the nylon rope at the bottom and then go up to the top and pull it up. Because our driveway is so long, they actually can only pull it about halfway at one time, so they do it in stages. The total distance of the new utility line will be about 1600'; the power company gives us the first 600' free and then we pay $1.50/ft the rest of the way. That's another 1000' for us to get up to the transformer location, so the bill from the electric company (which came in the mail already!) is about $1500. That's in addition to the cost of the ditch and the conduit from the excavator, so all together we're at about $7500 for the underground utilities. Seems like a lot just to avoid having poles going up through the property. But the power company wouldn't go up the driveway; they'd only do a straight line to the house, so that would've meant another big clearing of the trees and we didn't want that. And it also means that should we ever subdivide or build more houses, we can run a shorter underground conduit to the next site for a pretty modest marginal cost.