I learned last night that Com Ed plans to construct a 345 kV transmission line under the street in front of my house, to bring additional electrical capacity to downtown Chicago substations. It will only be 4-10 feet under the surface of the street because of the subway tubes adjacent. Now 345 kV is not your ordinary distribution electrical line; it’s what is normally run cross-country on 70-foot-high poles. I believe that folks further south objected to a new aerial transmission line, so Com Ed will be doing the much more expensive underground option, running north from 55th under State Street and then west under Ninth St.
I’m usually not much of an alarmist on EMF and health effects, but the use of a narrow residential street is a little worrisome, even if it’s just the effects on police radios and pacemakers. I’d really like to educate myself about this subject before I raise unnecessary alarms.