Transmission and substation upgrades in Wichita's Midtown and Riverside neighborhoods

Evergy is evaluating options for upgrading outdated and aging transmission lines and substations in Wichita’s Midtown and Riverside neighborhoods. We must upgrade this electrical infrastructure to ensure the equipment meets modern standards for reliability and safety.

Input from area residents and a review of several other options has allowed us to make some positive changes to the routes of these projects, but it has also affected the timelines previously shared.

We expect to host an open house in late 2024 or early 2025 to share preliminary design information for the transmission line rebuild between the substation at 17th Street and Emporia to the substation at 11th Street and Jefferson.

This rebuild will be done in phases. The open house will address the segment along 11th Street only. Attendees can review tentative plans, including preliminary pole types, pole size ranges and approximate pole locations, and provide feedback, which will be considered as final designs are developed. A near-final design will be shown at a second open house prior to construction.

17th Street and Emporia Substation-11th Street and Jefferson Substation
After studying the electrical system in the downtown area, our preliminary design would allow us to remove the transmission portion of the structures going north through the historic neighborhood along Emporia Avenue, just north of 11th Street. The existing wood poles would be shortened to remove the transmission line wires at the top. The shortened wood poles and distribution line would remain to continue serving residences and businesses in the area. Because those changes can’t be made until other changes to the system occur (detailed below), shortening the poles is currently not planned for completion until sometime in 2028.

The plan described above requires a substation expansion near Mead and 3rd Street. Design work for the transmission line rebuild between the substation at 17th Street and Emporia to the substation at 11th Street and Jefferson was on hold while we obtained the necessary permits from the city and purchased property for the substation project. This expansion affects the historic Keep Kleen building, and we have developed a plan that respects the historical significance of the property while upgrading and expanding the substation. Work on the substation is scheduled to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2027.

The existing transmission line along 11th Street from Jefferson Street east to Emporia Street will be rebuilt along its current route. This is currently scheduled to take place in 2025.

We expect to host an open house in Summer 2024 to share preliminary design information for the transmission line rebuild between the substation at 11th Street and Jefferson to the substation at 777 West Central Avenue.

11th Street and Jefferson Substation-777 West Central Avenue Substation
After evaluating options, it has been determined that the preliminary design for the transmission line rebuild between the substation at 11th Street and Jefferson to the substation at 777 West Central Avenue will follow the existing route. Surveyors have requested right-of-way access from homeowners to perform soil testing to gather information crucial to determining the design of the line. This project is currently planned for 2026.

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