A month ago, motorists heading north on Interstate 95 through Liberty and Bryan counties noticed an air-crane helicopter and construction crews on the ground installing 100-foot steel poles. This week, motorists may notice a smaller helicopter as it pulls the lead wire through a tracking spool on each transmission pole.
“(Tuesday), a small helicopter pulled the lead wire through tracking spools on the transmission-line poles,” said Jeannine Haynes, public affairs director for Georgia Transmission Corporation. “We will use the leads to pull the conductor wire through the spools using equipment on the ground.”
Haynes said the construction project is being conducted by the power generation and electric-transmission co-op because Coastal Electric Cooperation identified the need for a second high-voltage electric transmission line to connect the Burnt Church substation in Bryan County with the Tradeport East Industrial Park substation in Midway.
She said GTA is using helicopters to allow the power-line project to run through the coastal salt marshes without damaging the environment. The more than 100 steel and concrete poles and high voltage power lines installed during the $20 million project will include 6.5 miles in Bryan County and 5.7 miles in Liberty County, she said.
More than two-thirds of the new power line will parallel I-95. Although the construction is well off the highway, Haynes said traffic may be slowed somewhat as motorists watch and wonder about the helicopter hovering above the power poles.
“The work will continue through early October,” she said. “We are on target to have the project ready for service in mid-October.”
Haynes said GTA plans, builds and maintains high-voltage power lines and substations for 39 or Georgia’s 42 customer-owned electric membership cooperatives.