If you’ve noticed the row of boarded up houses along 17th Street, between Hillside and Oliver, here’s what’s behind it. Westar Energy purchased them as part of a plan to upgrade the transmission lines in the area.
With growth on the campus of Wichita State University and increased demand for electricity in the area, Westar recognized a need to upgrade transmission lines to the area as a way to improve service delivery and to help reduce or eliminate electrical outages.
The transmission line work will be done along 17th Street from Oliver to Woodlawn and Woodlawn to Rock Road. New power line standards require Westar to utilize wider easements than when the line was originally built, so Westar is purchasing nine homes on 17th near Oliver. Six of the homes are ready for demolition and are slated for removal later this month. Three homes are still in the process of being acquired.
Once the homes are removed, entry drives and driveways will also be removed, grass will be replanted on the lots, the curbs will be fixed and sidewalks will be installed.