By Latrishka Thomas
Since the completion of rehabilitation work on one of the island’s major highways (Friars Hill Rd), residents have been confused about which direction to drive at one of the junctions.
At the intersection of Dickenson Bay Street and Friars Hill Rd was a utility pole which ‘appeared’ to be somewhat of a temporary round-about.
Residents took to social media querying whether they should “go straight or go around.”
But over the weekend the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) removed that utility post to begin the switch to their underground electricity system in what they call the ‘Friars Hill Road Project’ which began more than two years ago during the government’s Road Rehabilitation project.
APUA’s Transmission and Distribution Engineer, Jason Peters, told Observer that properties between Dickenson Bay Street and Government House are now receiving power from a more resilient energy supply system underground.
He said that the underground cables have already been placed all the way up to the pond near the West Indies Oil Company.
Peters said that the underground service feeders, though seven times more costly, are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also “require less maintenance since the conductors are not exposed to the elements…. and in the event of a storm we don’t have to wonder about poles breaking or poles falling down.”
He noted that the underground system is also safer from road users.
“We have lost a number of poles due to traffic collisions,” he remarked.
The engineer said that no definitive decision has been made on where the underground cables will be set up next, but he said that outside of the stadium may be done to facilitate development in the area.
He revealed that a few other developments such as housing projects in the country are also operating from the underground electrical set up.