When Antonio Romero and his wife, Gina, bought their retirement home in Jurupa Valley two years ago they thought a large cornfield near their home would someday be a shopping center.
Instead they learned that a 10-mile, 230-kilovolt, transmission line could rise on the site along the 15 Freeway.
“The last thing that we expected were these horrible transmission lines,” Romero said, calling it a “punch in the gut.”
He was among 40 foes of the project who gathered Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 2, at the site near Limonite Avenue and Pats Ranch Road to criticize the proposal which Riverside and Southern California Edison officials say is needed to provide a secondary connection in case of power outages.
Demonstrators held signs with slogans such as “No overhead power lines” while chanting “Underground now.” Herb McKee, who also retired to the area a year ago, said “Godzilla-sized transmission lines” would be right across the street from his house, where he uses solar panels for electricity.
The proposed Riverside Transmission Reliability Project has been a long-running battle between Riverside and and its neighbor across the Santa Ana River since before Jurupa Valley became a city in 2011.
The project, which would include substations, transmission towers and poles, is a joint venture of Riverside Public Utilities and Southern California Edison.
Riverside officials say the project would help avoid blackouts at peak times or during a disaster by providing a secondary connection to the state electrical grid. They cite a city-wide blackout in October 2007 as an example of why the upgrade…
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