Midtown Cable Upgrade

Evergy is replacing an aging underground power transmission line to improve reliability and support the current and future electricity needs of our community.Map of where midtown project upgrades are occurring

This project, located near the Country Club Plaza, will install new 161kV transmission cable and infrastructure, replacing equipment originally installed in 1959. Work is focused at two project sites. 

  • Project 1 is located at the Ewing & Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden and Frank A. Theis Park, near the intersection of Locust and Pierce streets. Work is expected to begin in late February and be completed by late April 2021.
  • Project 2 is located on the Brush Creek Trail near Cleaver Blvd and Concord Court. Work is expected to begin in late April and be completed by late June 2021.

Splicing underground cable will occur within the existing manholes at both project locations and will require a temporary building to be constructed to house a freeze pit. The purpose of the freeze pit is to access the transmission line pipe to install liquid nitrogen freeze coils, which freezes the fluid surrounding the cable within the pipe.

Liquid nitrogen will be delivered to the site by tanker each night. The temporary structure will be manned while work is underway. Liquid nitrogen is a colorless, odorless gas, and its extremely low temperature can cause severe frostbite upon contact. During the nightly transfer of liquid nitrogen, you may observe a fog coming off the building. This is the gas venting into the atmosphere and is harmless, similar to fog seen with dry ice.

This project is a part of Evergy’s initiative to upgrade utility infrastructure. Evergy is investing in infrastructure upgrades to strengthen the regional power grid and enhance reliability for you and the communities we serve in Missouri. Infrastructure upgrades allow us to continue delivering clean, safe, reliable sources of energy for our customers today, and well into the future.

As a COVID-19 precaution, we ask you to maintain social distancing and not approach our employees or contractors working in your area.
We appreciate your understanding as we take precautions to protect you and our workforce.

Evergy plans to begin construction in February 2021 on two underground transmission cable projects near the Country Club Plaza.

What work is planned?
This project will install new 161kV transmission cable and new substation terminations, replacing equipment originally installed in 1959.

What is transmission cable?
Transmission cable carries the electricity created at a power plant to area substations. A transmission cable is physically larger than the distribution lines that carry electricity to local homes and businesses.

Why is the work needed?
As central Kansas City continues to grow and redevelop, energy use continues to increase. Replacing the current cables, which are more than 60 years old, will help ensure reliability for years to come.

Where are the two projects located?
The work will be divided into two phases. Phase 1 will be near the west side of the Kauffman Gardens parking lot. Phase 2 is located on the Brush Creek Trail near Cleaver Blvd and 46th St. These smaller projects are part of a larger project to improve reliability.

What is the timeline for the project?
Phase 1 will begin in late February and will be completed by late April, when Phase 2 work will begin. Anticipated completion date for Phase 2 work is late June 2021.

How will both phases of the project be constructed?
Both phases of this project will remove old cable and install new cable in an existing steel pipe. Workers will be stationed at the Midtown Substation and the remote-end location for the duration of each project phase. At the remote-end locations, a temporary building will be constructed near an existing manhole to house a freeze pit. Cable splicing will be performed in the existing manhole at each remote-end location.

What is a freeze pit and what is its purpose?
A freeze pit is a hole in the ground exposing the transmission line pipe, allowing for liquid nitrogen freeze coils to be installed around the pipe. The liquid nitrogen freeze coils form a plug of frozen oil around the transmission line, allowing it to be worked on. As the liquid nitrogen is used to cool the steel pipe, the warming gas is safely vented off into the atmosphere. This process results in fog coming from the temporary building, similar to dry ice.

What will the temporary building look like?
The temporary building will resemble a small shack with a liquid nitrogen tank attached. The building will contain vents to disperse the liquid nitrogen gas, which looks like fog. There will be security at the site 24/7.

Is liquid nitrogen safe?
Yes. Liquid nitrogen is a colorless, low viscosity liquid that is widely used as a coolant, similar to dry ice. It is non-toxic and safe when used correctly.