Growing demand and outdated infrastructure technology were taxing the service capabilities of ITC’s Marshall to Blackstone 138 kV transmission line. ITC determined the line needed to be rebuilt, which called for thoughtful coordination and communication with the City of Marshall.
THE THREE CS: COORDINATION, COMMUNICATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Rebuilding an aging line with a higher capacity conductor to provide greater reliability in the southern region of Michigan.
Located in south-central Michigan, the City of Marshall is home to one of the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark Districts. Its many attractions, convenient location and quality of life beckon both tourists and businesses alike, making reliable power essential in this quaint and thriving community.
The area’s electricity needs have long been served by ITC’s Marshall to Blackstone 138 kV transmission line, however growing demand and outdated infrastructure technology were taxing its service capabilities, creating the potential for the line to become overloaded. The 35-mile line’s aged structures were exhibiting deterioration and obsolete conductors needed to be replaced. ITC determined that the line needed to be rebuilt.
The City of Marshall, which operates as a municipal utility, had a request of ITC: that it not be down to a single transmission source during construction of the new ITC line. To comply, ITC created a “shoo fly,” a temporary line, and also took a hiatus from construction during the peak summer months.
“There was a lot of effort to coordinate these projects. A lot of information needed to be exchanged, and ITC Stakeholder Relations did an outstanding job of keeping everyone informed throughout the process.”
–Ed Rice, Director of Electric Utilities for the City of Marshall
The Marshall to Blackstone transmission line was energized in December 2016, strengthening the reliability and safety of the transmission infrastructure in southern Michigan while supporting Marshall’s ability to meet new energy demands.
The right-of-way for the Marshall to Blackstone line traversed a variety of landscape types including farm fields, residential areas and wetlands. This created a challenge as large trucks and heavy equipment can damage the land and create ruts. ITC’s field crews used more than 60,000 construction mats to complete the project. Using timber mats protects the ground surface and wetlands, and prevents soil erosion and sedimentation problems. Timber mats are approximately 4 to 6 feet wide, 16 feet long, and 1 foot thick, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.