Above-ground utility boxes can’t be avoided in Fort Langley when the new underground utility lines go in, but the boxes will get decorative wraps and could be moved away from busy pedestrian areas if alternative locations can be found.
An unsigned internal memo from the Township engineering division to council said the idea of burying the new boxes was raised by municipal staff with B.C. Hydro, which rejected the notion.
“B.C. Hydro advised that they will not allow the undergrounding of their transformer infrastructure,” the April 23 memo said.
Staff are discussing alternative locations for some of the boxes with Hydro and “certain private property owners” the memo added.
B.C. Hydro has agreed to allow decorative wraps on the new ground-level utility boxes in Fort Langley, provided the Township pays for installation and maintenance.
The wraps will be designed with input from the Langley Heritage Society, Langley Centennial Museum and other groups to come up with a look that “considers the unique aspects of Fort Langley,” the memo said.
Shaw Cable has advised the municipality that it “has no objections” to decorative wraps on its new above-ground utility boxes.
The proposed Telus underground system will not require above-ground boxes.
Some critics of the undergrounding project have complained the boxes will obstruct sidewalks and discourage pedestrian traffic.