From our News partners at WCBD-TV:
CHARLESTON, SC -
In downtown Charleston, Hampton Park is a place to relax, to work-out, or to visit as a tourist...but some say the park is now divided.
Downing Child lives in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood and she says SCE&G's new power line rebuilding project is taking away from the park's natural beauty."It looks like it's either a ski lift or a highway," said Child. “These are not just hurricane-proof, they're monsters! They are really just too big for this beautiful park and historic residential streets."
SCE&G told News 2, "We are upgrading our system to improve reliability of service and to meet need for increasing demand in the downtown Charleston area. By removing wooden poles and replacing them with steel poles, we are also hardening the system to withstand higher winds from storms."
Being replaced are the poles in between Sunnyside Avenue all the way down to Bee Street, along President and Piedmont Avenues. However, this cuts right through Hampton Park.
Many people News 2 spoke with recognize the need to add the new poles, but what has the people in the neighborhood talking is the size and scale of them, compared to the rest of the homes and existing poles in the area.
Liz Wood was jogging in the park and said, "I do think that it's less attractive now - but if they are necessary, they are necessary."
Officials from the city say the lines meet all federal windows and that SCE&G have the right-away through the park to build their power lines. One of the only things the city chose was the gray, "galvanized" color of the poles. It was only between the galvanized color, which they chose, or a rusted color. Officials say SCE&G offered to paint the poles once, but that they would not be responsible for maintaining their color and upkeep.
Jogger Tyler Culbertson said, "I totally dig the gray look…for sure."
But others, like Bob Olsen who's lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, think it's too big…especially right in front of his home. “I don't think anybody in the neighborhood or anybody watching on television would want something that big, literally, in their front yard," explained Olsen.
Officials with SCE&G say the project is expected to wrap up sometime this year.
Photo Credit: Christian Carollo Shutterstock