Xcel could turn Midtown Greenway into visual eyesore, critics say

Photo by Micah Taylor

Xcel Energy, being the totally green and visually conscious people that they are, want to build a high voltage line along the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway. Nothing like adding a beautiful power line to the city's big attempt to go green and look pretty doing it.

The line would cross the biking corridor four times and some are raising concerns about the line's potential as a visual eyesore that could deter further development along the route, the Star Tribune says.

More from the Star Tribune:
Xcel is proposing an aerial line, which is cheaper but runs counter to the sentiment of area council members that the line should be buried. They prefer a route under E. 28th Street if the line goes ahead. 
Betty Mirzayi, Xcel's transmission project manager, said Xcel chose the route largely following the Greenway's south rim because it's a more direct route that would be cheaper to build.
Xcel looked at an underground alternative, but said burying the line would cost $15.8 million more that would be passed along to residents. Installing overhead lines would cost $2 million of the project's $15 million total budget. 

Xcel wants to install the new line to help accommodate the Midtown area which has become more densely populated with residents and businesses that need more reliable service. 

The Midtown Greenway Coalition, an advocacy group with membership from neighborhoods along the corridor, has opposed the project, but said it would reconsider its stance if significant benefits can be proven.

Xcel is holding two public meetings today to discuss the project:
Plaza Verde 1516 E. Lake St.
The sessions are scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.