Editor’s log: Let’s stay real

You don’t see much original, in-depth journalism these days. That goes for business-to-business journalism in the underground infrastructure markets, but also for virtually every type of media across business and consumer markets.

Dominion Energy Virginia buries 2,000 miles of power lines underground ahead of hurricane season

Launched in 2014 to reduce storm-related power outages and shorten restoration times, the program focuses on burying power lines in the most outage-prone areas. The company plans to bury several thousand additional miles of overhead lines as the program continues in the coming years.

Consumers Energy burying power lines near Standish, Mich.

Consumers Energy crews have begun the second week of a project to bury two miles of power lines near Standish, aiming to improve the region’s electric grid by protecting lines from falling trees and severe weather.

Houston faces hurdles in transitioning to underground power lines amid severe weather concerns

Given Houston's vulnerability to hurricanes, relocating power lines underground could theoretically reduce the risk of prolonged outages. However, this concept faces significant obstacles.

EPA steps up efforts to address leaking underground storage tanks nationwide

For more than a decade, some residents of the tiny Richmond, Rhode Island, neighborhood of Canob Park drank and bathed using tap water that had been tainted by gasoline that leaked from storage tanks buried under service stations a few hundred yards from their homes.

Berkeley pushes PG&E to bury power lines to mitigate wildfire risk

Berkeley city officials are pressing Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to include their city in a plan to underground 10,000 miles of power lines in regions with the highest fire danger, The Berkeley Scanner reported.

Unprecedented storms raise questions about undergrounding Houston’s power lines

Currently, Houston has extensive underground distribution and transmission lines, but the high costs and challenges associated with burying more lines, particularly in developed areas and flood-prone regions, are significant obstacles.

Google to invest $1 billion in Hawaiʻi's subsea internet infrastructure with new fiber-optic cables

Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke, leader of Connect Kākou, Hawaiʻi’s high-speed internet initiative, and Benji Robinson, Asia Pacific director for Google, unveiled plans for the construction of a $1 billion project to create new fiber-optic internet subsea cables.

HyperFiber launches fiber-optic internet service in Port Charlotte, Fla.

HyperFiber, an independent fiber internet provider, has launched its gigabit-speed services in Port Charlotte, Florida, offering reliable connectivity to over 31,000 homes in the area.

Core & Main to acquire EGW Utilities, enhancing underground utility offerings

Core & Main Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EGW Utilities Inc., a distributor of quality products and services to underground utility contractors and municipalities, based in Texas.

Enbridge selects contractors Barnard, CBNA for Great Lakes Tunnel construction

(UI) — Enbridge selects Barnard Construction Company Inc. and Civil and Building North America Inc. to construct the Great Lakes Tunnel, safeguarding Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Underground infrastructure overhaul planned for Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.

A critical piece of underground infrastructure at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is about to get a makeover.

$274 million investment to improve water quality across Pennsylvania

This investment, facilitated through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, will fund 30 projects focusing on drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and non-point source issues.

Harnessing advanced technologies for underground engineering success

Underground construction endeavors are intricate, demanding meticulous planning, execution and risk management. With billions of dollars invested and millions impacted annually, the stakes are monumental.

California's DWR completes groundbreaking mapping program

California's Department of Water Resources (DWR) has concluded its groundwater mapping initiative, offering crucial insights into the state's underground water reservoirs.

Pennsylvania Senate approves legislation for underground carbon capture wells

The Republican-penned bill lays out a framework for how Pennsylvania would regulate underground wells that store carbon dioxide, a critical component of carbon capture and removal technology that supporters envision as a way to slow climate change.

Enstor eyes FERC nod to double underground gas storage capacity at Mississippi Hub

Enstor Gas LLC has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an expansion of its underground natural gas storage facility located in Simpson County, Mississippi.

Wisconsin’s Menominee Tribe secures funding for underground power line project

FEMA's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant program has allocated $872,894 to support the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's underground power line conversion initiative.

Damage prevention and safety: Turning awareness into action

Surveys and studies reveal that professional excavators/contractors are highly aware of Common Ground Alliance’s (CGA) 811 initiative that requires they (as well as landscapers and homeowners) contact their state’s OneCall Center so underground utility lines are identified and marked before breaking ground.

Western sanctions impacting Russian underground infrastructure

The Russian sector of underground infrastructure construction is potentially in a serious crisis. The ever deepening shortage of funding and the lack of technologies are posing a threat for implementation of many investment projects and planned modernization of existing infrastructure.

Colorado Springs Utilities undertakes underground power line shift post-2021 windstorm

In Colorado Springs, efforts are underway by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) to relocate power lines underground after identifying susceptibility during a windstorm in 2021.

California regulators greenlight program to accelerate electric infrastructure undergrounding

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has introduced a new initiative aimed at accelerating the undergrounding of electric distribution infrastructure across the state. This program, mandated by Senate Bill (SB) 884, targets increased system resilience and climate adaptation.

Nevada OSHA fines Elon Musk's Boring Company over safety violations in Vegas tunnel project

Elon Musk's Boring Company incurred fines exceeding $112,000 due to safety breaches flagged by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the construction of the Vegas Loop underground tunnel last year.

Conservation groups sue to stop a transmission line from crossing a Mississippi River refuge

A coalition of conservation groups filed a last-minute federal lawsuit to halt plans for building a 102-mile transmission line that would link Iowa’s Dubuque County and Wisconsin’s Dane County, crossing through a Mississippi River wildlife refuge.

Consumers Energy to bury electric lines in six Michigan counties

Consumers Energy has announced the approval of a targeted undergrounding pilot program by the Michigan Public Service Commission. With a $3.7 million investment, the company plans to bury 10 miles of overhead power lines within the next year.

I&M commences reconstruction of underground power line in Muncie, Ind.

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) representatives plan to start construction next week to rebuild an aging underground power line along Tillotson Avenue in Muncie.

Underground electric cable replacement program in Geneva, Ill., to bolster service reliability

The city of Geneva, Illinois, is set to improve the reliability of its electric service by undertaking an underground cable replacement project slated to commence in March.

Austin Energy's distribution system undergoes assessment for underground feasibility

Twin independent studies by engineering firm Burns & McDonnell will begin in March 2024 to assess the underground feasibility and overhead resiliency of Austin Energy’s distribution system.

New York State OKs $57.8 million underground transmission line linking Nanuet to West Nyack

The New York State Public Service Commission has greenlit a $57.8 million project to install a new underground transmission line spanning approximately five-and-one-half miles between the Burns substation and the West Nyack Substation in the town of Clarkstown, New York.

Hawaiian Electric's $190 million grid resilience plan approved with undergrounding initiatives

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved Hawaiian Electric's $190 million Climate Adaptation Transmission and Distribution Resilience Program application, which will help defend against the increasing threat of wildfires.