Lexington Underground Transmission Project

  • KU is constructing and replacing portions of its electric transmission system.
  • These upgrades will help reduce service interruptions and strengthen reliability.
  • The project is part of the utility’s ongoing Transmission System Improvement Plan.

As part of upgrades throughout its electric transmission system, Kentucky Utilities Company is beginning a project to construct and replace portions of underground and overhead electric transmission infrastructure across two miles of downtown Lexington. When completed, the work is expected to reduce service interruptions to customers within the area and enhance electric reliability throughout the system.

Below are questions and answers providing more information on the project and details on what those who live and work in the project area can expect. For additional questions, call (859) 367-5305 or contact us online.

About the Project

Q. What is the Lexington Underground Project?

A.  The Lexington Underground Project was approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2017 as part of KU’s Transmission System Improvement Plan. The project calls for replacing three existing 69 kV underground transmission circuits in downtown Lexington and their associated duct banks.  It also involves overhead electric transmission work including installation of two new steel riser poles and removal of a portion of the utility’s overhead electric transmission lines in the area.

Q. Why is this project necessary?

A. The existing circuits, ducts and other infrastructure to be replaced by the project were installed in the 1970s and, while still safe, have outlived their expected useful life. Replacing these older circuits and materials will strengthen our system by reducing the frequency and length of unplanned service interruptions within downtown Lexington and the more than 7,000 customers served by the facilities.

Q. How does the electric transmission system differ from the distribution system?

A. The company’s transmission system consists of 69,000 through 500,000 volt lines and moves power from power generation plants to substations. Distribution lines consist of 4,160 through 34,500 volt lines and move power from the substations to individual customers’ businesses and homes. Transmission line outages can impact a much larger area than distribution system outages which tend to be more localized.

Q. What portions of the city will be impacted by this project?

A. The Lexington Underground Project will stretch across a total of two miles of infrastructure in downtown Lexington.

View map  (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Q. Will my service be impacted by the project?

A. We do not anticipate any service interruptions as a result of work associated with this project. If you do experience an electric service interruption, we encourage you to report it, just as you would report an interruption that would occur any other time.

Q. Will the project work impact traffic?

A. Installation of the new duct banks and transmission cable will require open trenching within one or more lanes along portions of Eastern Avenue, Race Street, Short Street, Rose Street, High Street and Vine Street. Overhead electric transmission work will also require periodic closure of one or more lanes within the project area.

Q. When will project work take place?

A. To minimize the impact to traffic and public transportation access, the majority of project work is expected to take place Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Riser pole replacement and substation work associated with the project, which must be conducted during daytime hours due to the nature of the work involved, will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., respectively.

Q. What should I expect to see in project areas?

A. Those in the area can expect to see various large vehicles and equipment in the project construction zones including digger derricks; bucket, dump and concrete trucks; and excavation vehicles such as back hoes and track hoes.

Q. Will there be any noise associated with the project?

A. Those within the project area should anticipate hearing normal noises associated with construction projects and the various pieces of equipment to be used during the project work. 

Q. What sort of safety measures will be in place in the project areas?

A. Ensuring the safety of our employees, contractors, sub-contractors and the general public is our top priority. As part of our overall safety efforts, project work zones will be clearly identified, traffic control specialists will be on site at the project work zones during construction hours and areas requiring open trenching will be covered with steel plates during non-construction hours.

Q. What if I have questions about the project?

A. Please feel free to contact KU at any time throughout the project. You can call and leave a message on our dedicated Lexington Underground Project phone line at (859) 367-5305 or you can contact us online. A KU representative will respond to you as quickly as possible.