Our View: ComEd and the Grand Prairie Gateway

It’s created a website and hosted nine open houses. It’s spoken with community leaders, as well as the media.

Perhaps the message and call for feedback hasn’t reached all ears, but it does seem like ComEd has done its due diligence in communicating a large-scale electricity project that is intended to create a more efficient flow of energy and relieve congestion for Kane, DeKalb, DuPage and Ogle counties – a project that could begin as soon as 2015.

The Grand Prairie Gateway project includes the installation of new high-voltage power lines between ComEd’s existing substations near the towns of Wayne and Byron. ComEd filed its proposal for the project – which includes suggested primary and alternate routes – to the Illinois Commerce Commission on Dec. 2.

Fidel Marquez Jr. – senior vice president of legislative and external affairs for ComEd, and the company’s chief governmental and community relations officer – said resident and business concerns were taken into consideration when ComEd detailed its proposed routes.

“We certainly understand there are folks who are very concerned about the routing of the lines,” he said during a meeting with the Kane County Chronicle Editorial Board. “We worked very hard to minimize and manage the best we could the impact to those folks along the route.”

Marquez pointed to the town of Burlington as one example of where proposed lines were altered.

John Whitehouse, village engineer for Burlington, confirmed that “ComEd was very receptive to minimizing impact, especially on the heart of downtown.”

As plans for the Grand Prairie Gateway project progress, we urge the ICC and ComEd to continue to take into consideration the concerns of community members.

In addition, potentially impacted residents should provide more feedback on the plans and educate themselves about the project by visiting www.comed.com/GrandPrairieGateway.