Board denies utility’s bid for power line along rail tracks
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey regulators on Friday rejected an attempt by one of the state’s utility companies to build a power transmission line alongside rail tracks in Monmouth County.
The unanimous vote by the Board of Public Utilities means Jersey Central Power & Light can’t move forward with a plan to build the 10-mile-long (16-kilometer), $111 million high voltage line between Aberdeen and Red Bank.
JCP&L had sought to add the line to the area to improve system reliability. But in March, an administrative law judge recommended that the board reject the plan, writing that using the right of way on New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast rail line was untested and likely not feasible.
Residents of towns adjoining the proposed line formed a group to protest the plan over the last two years.
The transmission line plan also was opposed by U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone and Chris Smith. In a statement Friday, Pallone, a Democrat, called the plan “misguided.” Smith, a Republican, said in a statement that project “would be devastating” for the five towns along the route.
A spokesman for JCP&L told The Asbury Park Press the utility was reviewing the decision before determining its next steps.