BY TOM DALTON
---- — SALEM — The state agency that will rule on National Grid’s underground transmission cable replacement project will hold two public hearings here today.
National Grid plans to replace a 1-mile, high-voltage cable that runs from its substation at Salem Harbor Station to another substation on Canal Street. The project is expected to take more than a year.
The “preferred route” the utility has proposed goes down Fort Avenue and Webb Street to Forrester Street, around Salem Common, down Hawthorne Boulevard and Congress Street, over Leavitt Street, and on to Fairfield, Cabot and Cypress streets before reaching Canal Street.
A required alternate route filed by the utility travels down Andrew Street, around the Common, down Hawthorne Boulevard and then on to Charter, Lafayette and Gardner streets before reaching Canal.
National Grid has rejected options suggested by several residents, business people and city councilors, which include going under Salem Harbor or along the railroad right of way.
The company also plans to replace the existing cables, which it says are old and failing, that run down Fort Avenue, Derby and New Derby streets to Washington and Canal streets.
The Energy Facilities Siting Board hearings are Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St., at Salem State University.
There will be an additional public hearing Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Salem High School.
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.