Falmouth Officials Address Impacts of Eversource Cable to Martha’s Vineyard

FALMOUTH – The Falmouth select board has authorized easements to Eversource for a project to run an undersea power supply cable to Martha’s Vineyard.

The cable would come through Surf Drive then run to a hub station in Falmouth. Areas of the town  where work would occur include portions of the Shining Sea Bikeway and Mill Road.  

According to Director of Public Works Peter McConarty, the town has coordinated with Eversource to ensure issues such as traffic management, construction times, and noise can all be addressed.

McConarty said Eversource has recognized the project will cause significant community impact.

“In addition to mitigating the impacts to the greatest extent possible, Eversource is also providing $800,000 to the town for projects related to the impact area,” McConarty said.

In addition to the money, Eversource will undertake some work projects that may prove to be beneficial  for Falmouth long-term.

“Eversource has also agreed to relocate utility poles that are currently within the sidewalk on Palmer Ave that runs roughly parallel to the section of the bikeway that’s going to be torn up,” McConarty said. 

Board member said relocating the poles will provide an alternative to cyclists and pedestrians while that area of the bike path is under construction.  

Tim Shea, a member of the Falmouth bicycle and pedestrian committee, raised concerns about the amount of voltage running through the cable and if it could pose harm to bike path users.

McConarty said he had a dialogue with Eversource officials about the subject. They reported the cable would be a 23 kilovolt lines, which is a similar voltage to many distribution lines.  

The select board unanimously approved the article. The subject of authorizing the easements to Eversource will be included on the agenda for the upcoming April 4 Spring Town Meeting. 

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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