Xcel to the rescue
Xcel Energy is getting close to the completion of a $7 million rewiring of the Horizon Drive area.
When the project is done Horizon Drive will have what an Xcel spokesman called “one of the most reliable systems on the Western Slope.”
We certainly hope so.
Horizon Drive is the face of the Grand Valley to many visitors arriving for the first time, whether by vehicle on Interstate 70 or by plane at Grand Junction Regional Airport.
The vast majority of the city’s hotel rooms are in the Horizon Drive area, as are several restaurants and significant commercial and industrial uses, such as West Star Aviation, which has long nurtured an aircraft-painting facility.
All have been plagued — most chillingly Grand Junction Regional Airport— by extended and expensive outages in recent years.
One failure even cost West Star $35,000, an event that Xcel spokesman Fred Eggleston said helped him win company executives over to the improvement project. It seems that the electrical grid built for the area in 1980 was placed in acidic soils that have slowly corroded the copper wiring over the years.
The region’s new grid is built to deliver three times the power the old one was designed for, and is contained within conduits that should protect the wire, as well as make it easier to maintain and repair.
Over the years, Grand Junction and Mesa County have toyed with plans to make better use of the Horizon Drive area, with ambitious plans for the development of high-rise hotels to new convention-center space. A new runway is to be constructed at the airport and there is talk about rebuilding the terminal.
Little of that can move forward without a reliable and modern electrical system and we’re glad Xcel agreed to invest significantly into the Horizon Drive area of the city.