"The current line is 18 miles long and 40 years old. The new line will be just over a mile long and be brand new."
Union Street may seem bare with the absence of trees, but their loss will clear a path for more reliable energy.
The route along Union Street between 13th Avenue and First Street, Lindsborg, will host a new line of power poles, which will continue north on 13th Avenue to the Coronado Substation under construction near Wells Fargo Road. The substation is expected to come online in June.
"The purpose is to increase electrical reliability," said Greg DuMars, Lindsborg's city administrator. "The current line is 18 miles long and 40 years old. The new line will be just over a mile long and be brand new."
Installation of the power lines within Lindsborg comes at no cost to the city, as it is included in Westar Energy's plan for the new substation. DuMars said he expects poles to go up in March to be ready to carry energy by June 1.
"While we do have 80 feet of right-of-way, we plan to put the poles five feet from the curb," Dumars said. "No one needs to worry about having a power pole right in front of their front door. We'll definitely try to minimize the impact."
Westar Energy began work on the Coronado Substation in September 2016 as a way to improve its service to Lindsborg and the surrounding area.
"We've had a lot of outages in the last couple years," said Tom Syndour, regional director for Westar Energy. "With the growth we're having here, we want to have a more reliable system."
Once the new line is activated, the current 18-mile line to Lindsborg will become a backup in case the main line is interrupted. This is in addition to a current backup line that runs to McPherson.
The shorter 1-mile line will be less likely to fail, and if it does, repair crews will be able to fix the problem much more quickly, as there will be less line to check.
"I'll admit, Union Street looks different without the trees," DuMars said, "but we hope this change will be a great benefit for the community.