City may bury or relocate Hydro towers on Burlington Beach, Spencer Smith Park

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Published February 4, 2022 at 4:40 pm

During an exclusive interview with insauga.com, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward raised the possibility of the Hydro lines along Burlington Beach being moved or even buried.

Although it might seem like a dream right now, it actually goes back to a 2015 Halton Region report that included a recommendation to spend $12M to make it happen between 2016 and 2020.

“Integral to the updated Master Plan for the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park, is the relocation of the Hydro Towers, which have been located on the beach since 1909,” said the report.

“The City of Burlington has been managing the investigation into the relocation of the towers to date and will be reporting to City Council in the Fall of 2015, to outline options for moving the towers outside the park and away from the public beach area, along with updated cost estimates. In 2013, Hydro One provided options for relocation including cost estimates in the range of $8 to 12 million to relocate the towers. Regional staff recommends that the relocation of the hydro towers be undertaken in Phase 1 of the Master Plan, aligning with the progressive and continued implementation of Phase 1 over the 10 year period.”

So what happened?

Many of the other Phase 1 recommendations, including things like an upgraded gazebo, concrete walkway, pedestrian lighting and benches and additional tree and perennial plantings, were completed, but the Hydro tower relocation was never followed up on.

In fact, the Hydro towers aren’t even mentioned in the last regional update for the area. It seems likely the staff recommendation wasn’t followed seven years ago when the official plan for the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park was adopted.

But it’s back as a talking point now.

“We don’t own that infrastructure, so we are in regular negotiations with those folks who do own it to see what is feasible and who would pay for it,” said Meed Ward. “So some of those studies are underway.”

“It’s a work in progress.”

Although it would be the more expensive option, Meed Ward said there is support to bite the bullet now and just bury the lines, which would provide the best outcome.

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