New line will improve electric transmission reliability, increase system capacity in Eastern Iowa.
In September 2021, ITC Midwest completed the rebuild of a 161 kV transmission line extending from ITC substations northeast of Dysart to southwest of Traer. A segment of the line is double-circuited with a 34.5 kV line that has now been rebuilt to allow for 69 kV operation.
The Traer – Dysart 161 kV line was updated due to its age and ongoing operational issues that led to increased outages. After an engineering review of the line and the associated outages, it was determined that a complete rebuild of the line was necessary to address the issues that were leading to the increased outages. Among other design improvements, the new line was upgraded with tubular steel structures with conductor, insulators and hardware to better withstand extreme weather conditions.
The ITC Midwest team worked together to complete the project, working through several challenges:
There were initially more than 50 objections filed with the Iowa Utilities Board by landowners who were opposed to the initial route proposed for the 161 kV rebuild along Highway 8. ITC Midwest responded to landowner concerns and reverted back to the existing line route, and all objections to the project were lifted, with 100% voluntary easements granted by landowners.
The line was rebuilt along the Old Creamery Nature Trail east of Dysart, maintained by the Benton County Conservation Board. ITC Midwest is working with Benton County Conservation with pooled resources to restore the trail with improved vegetation and enhanced appearance.
The line runs through the City of Dysart along the C.R. Roberts Memorial Trail. The new line design reduced the number of transmission structures through Dysart by one-third, from 24 to 16, enhancing the visual appeal along the trail.
Due to careful work by the construction crew, the use of matting and a dry summer, construction impacts were minimal with little restoration required.
Two unavoidable planned outages affecting Dysart Municipal Utilities were successfully completed during two overnights, with the work completed quickly and safely to minimize impacts on electric consumers. ITC Midwest worked closely with city leaders to communicate the outages in advance to community members.
“ITC Midwest did a great job letting everyone know when the planned outages were going to happen. The outages were minimal and it went really well,” said Dysart Mayor Tim Glenn. “The whole process has been pretty seamless. ITC has been great with responses and providing updates, and we’re happy it was completed ahead of schedule.”
Following the successful completion of construction, the rebuilt line was energized in September. As a key route to move electricity in this region of Iowa, the new line will improve electric transmission reliability and increase system capacity to serve the growing needs of customers.
“I walk the trail twice a week and it looks great. The crews did a great job cleaning up and the lines look great. I recognize there are fewer poles and less utility infrastructure along the trail. The recreational trail is an awesome area for the people of Dysart to enjoy.”