Timber roads pave way for wire work

Platforms will support equipment needed to replace towers during two-year project

LARGE TIMBER CONSTRUCTION MATS that will serve as makeshift roads and construction platforms for heavy machinery to be used by American Transmission Co. as it replaces transmission lines between Port Washington and Saukville are being laid along the route. A path of sorts was created by the mats in this view of the lines looking from Highway W east toward the lake). Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Roads of timber have sprung up around Port Washington recently, a sign that a two-year utility construction project is beginning.

American Transmission Co. brought in the mats of large, squared-off timbers to lay down around almost five miles of transmission lines it is replacing between the We Energies power plant in Port Washington and the Village of Saukville.

The company decided to replace the existing H-frame structures with 41 galvanized steel, single-pole structures because the existing power lines and towers were at the end of their useful life, ATC spokesman Alissa Braatz said. 

The new poles will be double circuit, which will help the company strengthen electric reliability in the region, Braatz said.

In addition, the company will be adding a control house and relocating the perimeter fence at the Port Washington substation at the power plant — a project that is expected to start in mid-May and end next spring.

Work on the project, which was approved by the Public Service Commission in 2017,  began in January with the removal of vegetation along the route and continued in the past week or so as the mats were put in place to create makeshift roads and work platforms for the heavy machinery needed for the work.

The mats, which have been stored in a yard along Highway 32 on Port’s south side, will be moved along the route as construction moves, Braatz said.

Crews began pouring the foundations for the towers this week, Braatz said, adding that all the foundation work will be done in the first phase of the project with the poles installed after that.

The foundation work is expected to last through April, according to the company, with the existing structures being replaced in phases beginning this spring.  

The wires that carry electricity will be replaced and fiber optic wires will be installed, Braatz said.

The work, which is expected to be completed in late spring, 2021, is not expected to interrupt electrical service, she added.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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