I live on a private road that is owned and maintained by three other homes in RI. Recently, the electric company has approached us asking access to our private road in order for them to build an access road from our private road to their power lines. The private utility claims that they have a right-of-way on our road (by virtue of having existing poles) and that they have a right to use our road to build this access road and then use the access road and our private road for a very large project that will include new power lines, transformers, and a sub-station. The utility can access their power lines currently by crossing wetlands but they have told us that they do not want to pursue this avenue of approach because of the high costs involved in traversing the wetlands for this project. Our question and concern is what right does the utility have to use our private road for intentions that are not in line with maintaining their existing poles for service? Does the mere fact that they have poles entitle them to access our road in order to build onto our road an access road to their lines because they do not want to bear the costs of going over wetlands? Thanks.
I think a clarification is necessary. The power lines that they need access to are located behind our homes on property owned by the electric company. These lines are not the same poles that serve this small private road and in fact are part of a large project that will be serving most of southern RI.