Pewaukee-based American Transmission Co. has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to reconstruct about 53 miles of aging transmission line, spread across four counties.
The rebuilt 138-kV transmission line will go through the Waukesha substation in the City of Waukesha, through Jefferson and Dodge counties to the St. Lawrence substation in the Village of Slinger in Washington County.
"Of course, we're excited. We're in the business of providing stable electric systems for the the people in Wisconsin," said Alissa Braatz in ATC Corporate Communications.
Known as the Quad County Reliability Project, ATC said this project will help maintain reliability of the electric transmission system. The existing transmission line was originally built in the late 1940s, and this rebuild will allow the system to meet current and future electricity loads.
Braatz said they examined usage, growth of population in the area and the aging infrastructure to make the decision. "Back in 2005, we had the lines surveyed and found 18 to 30 percent of the lines had deteriorated from aging infrastructure or woodpecker damage," she said, adding that additional aerial surveys found additional damage.
Work on the project includes replacing about 423 structures along the entire route. Most of the aging lattice and H-frame structures will be replaced with single-pole structures and new H-frame structures.
In addition, the electricitycarrying wires or conductors will be replaced in many areas, and fiberoptic wires will be added to some portions of the project to provide high-speed data transfer and support electric system operations.
Between Waukesha and Watertown, ATC will replace about 35 miles of new conductors — replacing their electricity-carrying wires (conductors) and adding fiberoptic wires in other areas. Between Watertown and Hartford, it will replace and transfer existing conductors along more than 22 miles of line.
Construction is expected to begin in fall 2014, and work will be contracted to Henkels & McCoy. The estimated cost of the project is $59 million, and the targeted in-service date is 2017.
Construction activities, including crews and equipment, are expected to take place within existing rights-of-way where ATC already has easement rights. ATC will notify residents if they will be affected by segment construction crews in advance.
"Really, the impact here is that there will be no impact in the area. They're going to have consistent, reliable electricity transmission that continues to filter into electricity distribution companies, like We Energies," Braatz explained.
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