BUSHKILL — The federal government has announced that the National Park Service has given its approval to a higher voltage power line to replace the current one.
Part of the four-mile stretch of power lines — known as the Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line — cuts through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area near Bushkill.
The new power line will extend from the nuclear power plant near Berwick, through the Poconos to New Jersey. Part of that route cuts right through the park.
Both PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Electric and Gas Company in New Jersey will be putting up the new high voltage power lines.
A PPL spokesperson said the reason for the project is to make electricity service to its customers more reliable and reduce the amount of power outages in our region, including the Poconos, New Jersey, and New York.
“Oh, my God, I have had power out two or three days, a week on time. Last year when we had a big rain storm, probably a week and some days. If it can prevent that, I’m all for it,” said Gary Wyche of Bushkill.
“I get great power at my house, lived here 18 years, so I would know,” said Kaileigh Demaio of Bushkill.
After three years filled with discussion between the National Park Service and two power companies involved, heated debate between the residents and the environmental groups, power line towers will now be twice as tall, and the space between both sides of the power line tower will be three times as wide.
“I just think it’s such a sin to be tearing down all this natural beauty. I work at Bushkill Falls. We have all these people all the time come up to see Pennsylvania, the Poconos and we’re just tearing it down, we’re ruining it,” added Demaio.
“I see highways that wasn’t there before that was cut through trees,” said Wyche.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area Officials did not want to comment on the decision.
Some construction has already started on the power line project. It’s expected to be in service by summer of 2015.