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.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.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.