Wish we could do this in New Orleans... but the city's soil is like a sponge that's always soaked, and it tends to shift dramatically over time, cracking pipes and conduits and allowing groundwater in. Putting lines underground would make them more vulnerable to outages.
What I find more objectionable are the high-tension wires with 90-foot poles that run right down residential streets blocking the sidewalk. Certainly it's worth the outlandish cost to bury these monsters, even if it requires some creative engineering.
For the local neighborhood lines, it would be a huge aesthetic improvement to run them behind the buildings rather than in front. No less danger of outages, but you'd eliminate the messy appearance, especially in commercial districts where the rear side of buildings is already pretty unattractive.
The joy and stimulus in architecture is the discovery of fresh combinations of old ingredients appropriate to present problems. I’d rather be right than contemporary. - Harry Weese
Last edited by ardecila; Jul 3, 2012 at 12:48 AM.