Construction began last month on a single-pole 115 kilovolt transmission line between Bryan and Liberty counties, and it’s expected to pick up this summer.
Jeannine K. Haynes, public-affairs director for Georgia Transmission, updated the Liberty County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday about the project.
The line, which will be used by Coastal Electric Cooperative, spans the Burnt Church substation on Belfast Keller Road in Bryan County to the Tradeport East Business Park substation and will run parallel to Interstate 95 and Islands Highway over 8.5 miles.
Public hearings for the project were held in 2009, but the construction phase was stalled by permitting requirements and steel availability, Haynes said.
The project spans 12.2 miles with a 100-foot-wide easement, and it includes 107 structures. The company acquired easement from 35 property owners.
“The new transmission line will connect two points that are currently out on radial feed, and it’s going to enhance the reliability of this area greatly…,” Haynes said. “This project is a $20 million investment in infrastructure.”
A radial feed means that if one source of the power is lost, there is no way to back-power it; connecting the points will enable back-feeding.
“It’s very important to the industrial customers that are looking in the area,” she added.
The line is expected to enhance service beginning in October.
Haynes said foundation installations began in April, but “we are going to be in construction in earnest in just a few days, actually.”
Some concrete pole installations are under way in Bryan County, while steel poles will come around the end of July once the steel arrives.
Because 29 of the structures are in coastal wetlands, the project has steep requirements for minimizing impacts.
“We have to document the conditions as they exist now, before we go into that salt marsh,” Haynes said. “So that when the line is done, we can show that we’ve restored to its original condition.”
Low-ground pressure construction equipment will be used as well as load-dispersing mats, and helicopters and air cranes will be brought in for certain portions of the work.
Work has been permitted through the Georgia Division of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the USDA Rural Utilities Service and the State Properties Commission.