MLGW: Underground power lines would cost city $3B

Updated: May. 31, 2017 at 5:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Forty percent of MLGW power lines are underground, according to the company's president.

MLGW President Jerry Collins said it would cost $3 billion to put the remaining 60 percent of the city's power lines underground.

Since the weekend storm knocked out power to more than 150,000 MLGW customers, many of those customers have been critical of the utility company.

One of the critiques was that MLGW should have put power lines underground a long time ago. However, Collins said the money has never been available to make it happen.

Collins said MLGW has spent $100 million on storm restoration over the last 20 years, which is $2.9 billion less than it would cost to put all the city's power lines underground. MLGW has installed every new power line underground since 1975 and Memphis has 40 percent of underground lines, which is the highest percentage of any city in Tennessee.

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