From the City of Round Rock:
Attention Behrens Ranch Owners,
Recently, posts to the Behrens Ranch Facebook page and flyers distributed within the neighborhood stated that Oncor is planning to install large power lines, such as the one pictured below, along FM 3406 in front of the City park land.
This information is not accurate and was not verified by the City of Round Rock, Oncor or the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA is also a power utility).
The Oncor distribution line is a separate project entirely. Oncor is a privately owned electric delivery provider and is not part of the City of Round Rock. Below are the facts of the proposed Oncor distribution line, verified by the company.
For more information on the LCRA project please visit www.LCRA.org and
Yes, the proposed circuit along FM 3406 could be buried. The cost to run the entire line underground is approximately $230,000. There is inadequate space to bury the line inside the FM 3406 ROW. Thus the line would have to be buried inside the City’s parkland which would require a number of trees inside the park to be removed.
Would this project affect the plans for the proposed park?
No, the plans for the 220-acre park are for a natural “passive park,” consisting of a three-mile hike and bike trail and nature playground. The parking lot for the park is anticipated to be located on the southeast portion of the property with an entrance off of FM 3406 to avoid any traffic cutting through the neighborhood.
Would the overhead lines affect the trees along the walking path located on FM 3406?
No, Oncor is planning to install concrete power poles that are taller than the trees so that they avoid any trimming or cutting the trees as much as possible. The poles would not be the large metallic structures pictured on the flyer. The poles would be made of concrete and would look very similar to the existing power poles on FM 3406.
Does Oncor need to run the lines on the north side of FM 3406?
Yes, the poles on the south side of FM 3406 already have a circuit on them. Placing two circuits on one pole creates a situation where if a pole fails, both circuits will face significant service failure. Oncor separates circuits so that in the event one circuit experiences a failure, Oncor can re-route the power to the working side temporarily while repairs are being made to the damaged side without service interruption.
Are any other changes being planned to the above or below ground Oncor utilities in Behrens Ranch?
No, the seven existing power poles running immediately west of Wyoming Springs Drive along FM 3406 as well as the current above and underground utilities servicing the neighborhood will remain intact. Oncor will be performing routine maintenance in the future, but the locations of existing utilities will remain the same.
Are the stakes with the orange tags the proposed pole locations and is there a timeline for the project?
Yes, the orange stakes are the preliminary markers set by Oncor. Oncor would like to begin installing the new circuit in late January or early February of 2015.
The Oncor Power Distribution Line
What is it and why is it necessary?
The current electrical load on the circuit serving the Behrens Ranch Subdivision has exceeded its capacity rating and as a result Oncor needs to add an additional circuit. The new circuit will provide additional redundancy and safeguards in the event the existing circuit fails. This new circuit will also provide capacity needed for the continued expansion of Behrens Ranch. Behrens Ranch is the only subdivision this project would serve.
Where is the line proposed to be located?
Oncor’s initial proposal was designed to be entirely above ground, connecting the Switchgear (the green box located north of the small driveway on Wyoming Springs Drive) to a circuit approximately 2,000 feet to the east. After City staff spoke with HOA representatives, Oncor agreed to run underground the portion of the cable from the Switchgear box behind the Behrens Ranch entry sign to the Right-of-Way (ROW) on FM 3406 at their own cost of approximately $65,000, shown below in the dashed red line.
Oncor is not required to run any portion of the cable underground and the City cannot force Oncor to do so. The proposal above shows the red line as the underground section and the yellow line as the above ground section. The above ground section is located in the ROW of FM 3406, which is owned and maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The City of Round Rock has no authority over FM 3406 or its ROW.