Cottage Grove-East Tawas Transmission Line Rebuild

METC recently upgraded the Cottage Grove-East Tawas section of the Iosco-Karn 138,000 volt (138 kV) line in northeastern Michigan, bringing the line there up to design and construction codes. This upgrade utilizes engineered steel monopoles and aluminum conductors to increase the line’s capacity and reliability and to improve lightning protection. Work began in the first quarter of 2013 and was completed in October 2013. 




  • Why was this project necessary?
    The transmission system serving Iosco County was built in the mid-1900s and needs to be upgraded to meet increasing electrical demand. Some of the lines, poles and towers on the Cottage Grove-East Tawas section of the Iosco-Karn 138 kilovolt (kV) line are more than 50 years old. They have reached their design capacity limits and have become difficult to maintain. ITC subsidiary Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC) upgraded this 12-mile section in order to improve reliability and to meet current design and construction standards, including increased lightning protection.
  • Where is this project located?
    The 12-mile section of the Cottage Grove-East Tawas line to be rebuilt runs south from a point one mile west of the East Tawas substation, along the western side of Tawas City, then turns west through Tawas Township, continuing along the Tawas-Alabaster township line and along Whittemore Road into Sherman Township to just west of National City Road.
  • What do the new lines and towers look like?
    The new towers are steel monopoles which are stronger and more reliable than the existing wood poles and three-legged steel structures. ITC replaced the existing copper lines with new aluminum conductors capable of carrying more electricity safely and reliably.
  • Were additional land or easements needed?
    No, all of the reconstruction work is taking place within existing rights of way and easements.
  • When did this project start, and how long did it take?
    Construction began early in the first quarter of 2013 and was completed in October 2013.
  • What efforts did ITC make to protect the environment in the area?
    ITC worked with appropriate state and local agencies, including the Michigan DNRE, to review project plans and obtain appropriate permits to erect towers and lines through this region.
  • What local permits, if any did ITC have to obtain to reconstruct this transmission line?
    ITC coordinated with all state and local agencies as well as local municipalities to ensure that all required permits such as road crossings, drain crossings and soil and erosion permits were obtained. Local zoning approvals were not necessary because the reconstruction process is taking place entirely within our existing rights of way and easements.



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