Crews keep transmission structures high and dry

When the LOS-to-Watertown transmission line running from the Leland Olds Station near Stanton, ND, to Watertown, SD, was built in the 1970s, the land was bone dry. That has changed with time. Today, that same stretch of land, which runs 283 miles and includes 1,370 towers, is soaked and many of the transmission structures are standing in water.

LOS-to-Watertown transmission

One of the towers along the LOS-to-Watertown line stands in water before the foundations are extended.

Dave Tokach, designer III, says one of the biggest concerns with that is during the winter months, ice forms around and through the structure. “The movement of the ice bends and breaks the steel,” he says.

That’s why crews are extending the concrete foundations to protect the structures in deep enough water to put them at risk.

LOS-to-Watertown transmission

The same tower after work is complete. It includes a road to the structure, rock riprap to prevent erosion, extended foundations, and new steel on the structure legs.

Tokach says dirt is pushed out toward the structure to form a road to it. Fill dirt is also placed around the structure and protected from erosion with riprap. He says all the work is done without taking the line out of service.

Crews began on this ongoing project in 1999, when structures started to be affected by water.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: