, Salem, MA


July 26, 2013

Letter: Salem power project no Big Dig


And this comparison to the Bridge Street road work is completely off-base. In that instance, it was three different utilities working separately over several years, plus all of the other street improvements, and on a very busy throughway. But again, now that it’s done, it looks great and obviously made the entire neighborhood a much better place to live or work in. In a year or two, you might have a few residents who will like to talk about it like a bad winter, but it will be hard to argue it wasn’t worth it long-term.

But the transmission line upgrade? We’re talking about an 8-inch wide slot, cut through the street that is estimated to last three weeks per street. Even if you tripled that estimate, it’s hardly The Big Dig of Salem! If there ever was a situation where a mountain was being made out of a molehill, this one is it. By every comparison possible, this project in Salem is laughably minor; however, it is important to the city’s future.

Lastly, this obsession with running the cable under the harbor is nothing but a product of faulty logic, wishful thinking, and a clear misunderstanding of basic engineering and planning. The fact is, a year after the cable is installed, it will be forgotten it’s even there! There will be no “ground zero” during installation, nor any “fall-out” but instead a prudent investment in the city’s infrastructure, which those of us who are still interested in its long-term future will welcome. I sometimes wonder if the city councilors who are siding with the “No!” residents are really interested in anything more “long-term” than the next election.

Doug Bowker


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