Study to be done to look at cost of moving utilities underground

Gulf Breeze looks to do a study on moving utilities underground from HWY 98 to the base of the 3 Mile bridge.

Ted Kelly has lived in the Grand Point neighborhood of Gulf Breeze for nearly three decades.

He said his utilities have been underground for almost half that time.

"It's worked out very well for us," Kelly said. "We don't even worry about thunderstorms anymore."

The city is hoping to do the same along Highway 98, from the base of the three-mile bridge to the overpass that leads to Pensacola Beach.

City leaders in Gulf Breeze are proposing a feasability study, costing about $32,000, to see if it's possible.

"What this will do is allow us to identify all of those utilities that are underground and get a better idea of what the cost would be," said Gulf Breeze's city manager Samantha Abell.

Abell said the project could cost about $8 million and would be funded with community redevelopment agency funds.

"The good news is there is a source of funding without having to affect everyone's taxes," Abell added.

She believes this project will not only beautify the city, it will also help the area keep power in the case of bad weather.

"You've got better reliability, less chance limbs are going to fall on a wire," said Jeff Rodgers with Gulf Power. "It's not impacted by wind."

Supporters said they hope the city will jump on board.

"Of course. It's very efficient to have it underground. Why not? If it's a possbility," Kelly said.

The proposal will be discussed at Wednesday night's city council meeting in Gulf Breeze.

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