A 34-year delay for the burial of electrical wires in Montreal

A 34-year delay for the burying of electric wires in Montreal

The tops of these trees have been cut by the power line.

Hydro-Québec will complete the burial in Montreal in 2025 of nearly 8 kilometres of electrical wires that should have been buried since 1989, Radio-Canada has learned. Burying wires could have prevented several power outages during the ice storm that rocked the metropolis earlier this month.

The agreement, signed in 1983 when Jean Drapeau was mayor, provided for approximately 250 kilometers to be buried or moved to the alleys of Montreal. However, 34 years later, many of the objectives planned at that time have still not been achieved. This is the case for electrical wires on rue Saint-Patrick between rue d’Argenson and rue Shearer in Pointe-Saint-Charles, and overhead cables on rue Jarry Est, between rue Garnier and avenue De Lorimier in Villeray, cables whose burial was provided for in the agreement.

Although the government of François Legault rejects the idea of ​​burying electrical wires on a large scale because of the costs, many are calling for the the application of this measure which would make it possible to avoid major power cuts, which are likely to multiply due to climate change.

In Montreal, $25M has been allocated to bury the last kilometers promised under Jean Drapeau by 2025, which is equivalent to a sum of $3M per kilometer. Hydro-Quebec says only 59% of Montreal's electrical grid is buried right now. The government company’s program to bury existing distribution lines has been suspended until 2024 to meet other priorities.

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