WESTFIELD, NJ — PSE&G said Tuesday it is still analyzing a plan to a run high voltage power line along the Conrail right of way, avoiding the proposed installation of taller utility poles and more powerful electric wires within this town.

The utility had promised it would have an update for the public on the feasibility of the plan by last Friday but as Wednesday was waiting for a determination from the railroad company and examining the plan for the rail line.

“Over the past few weeks, PSE&G has performed extensive technical analysis regarding the construction of the line along the railroad right of way,” PSE&G said in a statement. “In addition, a meeting was conducted with railroad representatives last week. The railroad is currently evaluating our potential use of the right of way.

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“While their evaluation is underway, PSE&G continues to examine whether rerouting the project along the right away would afford us adequate access for construction and ongoing maintenance. This upfront engineering and project coordination is both critical and extremely time intensive.”

PSE&G said it is “working hard to reach a decision,” one it will base on feedback from the railroad and its own internal analysis on access issues. The utility previously has said it must install the 69-kilovolt lines as it takes a burdened power station in Clark out of service and installs a new power substation in Cranford.

An initial plan to install the 69-kilovolt line in more residential areas of Westfield had drawn objections from residents and municipal officials, prompting PSE&G to swap that plan for one which will have the poles run the full length of South Avenue. That plan also drew concern within Westfield.

On May 14, facing strident pushback from residents living near to the proposed power line upgrades, municipal officials in Cranford and Westfield announced the proposal to run the lines along the Conrail railroad, which runs through Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Clark and Cranford.

Email Staff Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@taptinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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