Right of way agents secure the way for Basin Electric

The bridge over the Little Missouri River carries truck traffic to and from the Bakken oil field.

Watford City is the southern gateway to North Dakota’s alternate universe, where the pace of life and scenery are forever changed by the Bakken oil activity. For the next five years or so, Kelly Suko will be immersed in this universe. He’s a property and right of way specialist for Basin Electric. He works hard to make sure the cooperative can get access to the land needed to build new generation and transmission facilities in the oil field.

The cooperative plans to build a 345-kilovolt transmission line from its Antelope Valley Station, around the western end of Lake Sakakawea, and then east to its Neset Substation near Tioga.

Before the first shovel of dirt is turned, many things must happen first, including gaining access to the land to survey it. On this day, Suko visits landowner April Obenour at her home in Arnegard. She owns land along the proposed route for the transmission line.

Watch the video to get a feel for the kinds of things right of way specialists talk to landowners about. A big thank-you to April for allowing communications staff to visit with her and shoot photos and video!

Editors note: The picture and video shown here were taken Feb. 16. The bridge shown was later struck and damaged, and the highway was closed. Read more: Highway 85 reopens after bridge damaged by truck towing trailer

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