I-195 District Commission to discuss burying power lines

The power lines soar over India Point Park alongside Interstate 195 in Providence.

During planning for the relocation of the highway, plans were made and some thought completed to put the power lines underground.

But the project has been stalled. Some people think that it's not that important.

"They're not really in the way of anything as far as the view. I think that there are probably other things that if we want to spend our money on that could be put to better use," said Crystal Johnson of Providence.

Others think the park is a signature space at the head of Narragansett Bay, which is an open space where all Rhode Islanders can come to enjoy the views and breezes. They believe it is de-filed by the stretch of power lines and towers even after $17 million had been set aside to help pay for the project.

"What's at stake here is what the waterfront in Providence and East Providence is going to look like in the next 100 years," said Paul Roberti, who's in favor of burying the power lines.

Roberti said there's not much keeping the project from moving forward other than state leaders deciding it should happen. Roberti said he believes now is the time.

"It's totally synergistic with everything that's being done with the redevelopment of the properties where the old highway used to be," he said.

Residents in favor of burying the power lines over India Point Park will make their case at a meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission on Monday night.

A representative from National Grid said all that's needed to make the project happen is if the money is there and the city owns the land where the cable under the river would come to shore.