The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) is striving for all power lines and telephone cables in San José to be moved underground by next year, according to a statement from the state-run electricity provider and telecommunications monopoly.
Workers began this $8 million project in 2002 with the goal of creating a 3.2 kilometer network of copper and fiber-optic cables to “eliminate visual contamination that the current aerial stringing of cables creates and pave the way for a more beautiful city,” the statement said.
The National Power and Light Company (CNFL) invested $52.5 million in the first part of this project, which involved preparations for installing the underground cables.
The project area spans from Ave. 20, on the south side of downtown, to the Río Torres on the north side, and from the area near Cine Magaly, on the east side, west to the National Children’s Hospital.
Workers are visiting each home and business in this area to remove existing cables and posts and connect to the subterranean network, the statement said.
Much of the work in the center of the city has been completed, and workers are moving on to the southern San José neighborhoods of Barrio Mexico, Barrio Aranjuez, Barrio Luján and Barrio Los Angeles.
In addition to reducing wire clutter, this system offers more security, better continuity in service and lower maintenance costs, the statement said.
If all goes well, ICE hopes to implement the project in other cities such as Alajuela, to the northwest, the statement said.