Year in Review – Undergrounding Longboat’s utilities

In July of 2019, the Town of Longboat Key began its $49.1 million underground utilities project along Gulf of Mexico Drive. The project consists of undergrounding the town’s electrical conduit and fiber optics all up and down Gulf of Mexico Drive and into residential neighborhoods. The project is estimated to take three and a half years, and has Comcast, Florida Power & Light and Frontier lines all being undergrounded.

In addition to the undergrounding project, the town is getting rid of the current large light poles along Gulf of Mexico Drive and in some residential areas.

The Town Commission decided to move forward with 35-foot tall light poles along Gulf of Mexico Drive and 25-foot tall poles along side streets.

The consultants had evaluated the effectiveness and cost of poles 10 feet lower, and concluded the taller poles were the only viable option.

The decision made last week moves the project forward, and even though the specific look of the final light poles will still be determined, the height was a critical decision so the system could be mapped out.

The light poles throughout Longboat will all be accompanied with wireless telecommunication antennas, which is part of the town’s effort to create a community-wide wireless network. Eventually, every power line as well as cable and telephone line will all be underground and only the occasional light pole and small cell pole will be in the right-of-ways. The actual burying of the lines will be completed by 2022.

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