Powerline project expected to be done by summer of 2013
So what's going on? The construction is part of American Transmission Co.'s Rockdale-West Middleton Project that includes 32 miles of a new 345-kilovolt transmission line.
The $219 million line will connect the existing Rockdale Substation with the West Middleton Substation.
The project includes 96 miles of conductor and 236 structures.
The new line runs from the southern Dane County township of Christiana along I-90/39 up to Madison and generally follows the Beltline to the west side in Middleton Township.
Why is it needed? In recent years, Dane County has seen some of the highest growth rates in the state, both in population and electricity usage, according to ATC. The existing transmission system in and around Dane County brings power from outside of the county to meet electric demand, according to ATC's website.
The construction follows more than five years of public involvement and regulatory review.
When will it be done? Construction started in August and will continue through 2012.
Contractors have been drilling holes and installing foundations since fall along the nine-mile eastern portion of the project along I-90/39. Some of the galvanized steel poles already are in place. A helicopter is used to string the wires, which contractors are putting in place through spring.
The entire line is anticipated to be in-service by summer 2013. For more information, visit atc-projects.com.