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Art Alley will have less powerlines in downtown Rapid City

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:28 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - On June 21 Black Hills Energy started the process of taking overhead power lines underground. The energy company hopes this prepares for future growth in the downtown area and improves safety.

“Part of our alley, downtown alley project is we’re re-constructing the feeder lines to all the businesses in the downtown area of Rapid City taking out overhead lines and burying them underground and bringing new services to every homeowner and building owner in the downtown alley are,” said Bo Secrest, Operations Manager for Black Hills Energy.

The project has been in the works for three years and the company has been in close contact with businesses discussing how it will affect not only their power but parking for the six weeks of construction. “The biggest thing is just timing and trying to minimize impact to our customer and the public. It’s a very busy area for our town,” said Secrest.

Art alley is a prime place for visitors and alley organizers are optimistic about changes in the area. “We are a little bit disappointed that it’s during the biggest tourist season and the biggest painting season for us, but at the same time I think that it is really important for the future of Art Alley and what it will bring in the future,” says Ryan Light, Chair of the Art Alley Guild.

The future includes safety as a priority for both Black Hills Energy and the Art Alley Guild. “System safety, there’s a lot of potential safety issues and we want to protect the public and make sure the lights stay on for them. So, we are moving to a safer, more reliable system,” said Secrest.

“People climbing onto the power lines and that kind of thing and to put them underground it’ll provide a lot more space,” said Light who helps with planning in Art Alley.

Even though Art Alley might be power line free by mid-August, the entire project won’t be completed for some time. “2027 will have everything finally ripped out and cleaned up,” said Secrest.

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