Judge: Duquesne Light can upgrade power lines over Longue Vue club land
Share with others:
Duquesne Light may proceed with work to upgrade power transmission lines that will cross over property owned by Longue Vue Country Club in Penn Hills, an Allegheny County judge decided today.
Common Pleas Judge Christine A. Ward said Duquesne Light has the right to access its easements on Longue Vue property and perform the upgrades it deems necessary.
"Through testimony and evidence, Duquesne Light has demonstrated that Longue Vue, by preventing Duquesne Light from updating its electric transmission system, is creating a substantial risk that the electric system will overload, and that Duquesne Light customers will lose power," Judge Ward wrote.
The electric company, which has easements along the 7.8-mile stretch of lines between East Liberty and Plum, has said it is upgrading from a 69,000-volt line to a 345,000-volt line to ensure that customers in the area do not lose power during peak summer operating times. Part of that work requires replacing 80-foot poles with 150-foot poles.
The company began notifying affected properties, including Longue Vue, in 2009 and in February 2011 received approval for the project from the state Public Utility Commission.
Longue Vue Club, which was founded in 1920 and boasts views from above the Allegheny River, protested the installation of three of the 67 poles that will be used to carry the new lines, saying that they would negatively impact the view from its grounds.
Employees with the club have prevented Duquesne Light contractors from working on their property. The power company filed for preliminary injunction against Longue Vue on March 27.
In her decision, Judge Ward acknowledged that at least one of the new poles will affect the vista from the Pink Terrace outdoor dining area at Longue Vue, but said the view "will still be breathtaking."
Duquesne Light has completed work on nearly all of the remaining poles, but no work has been done on the three poles that were the subject of Longue Vue's dispute.
First Published June 13, 2012 2:46 pm