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VIDEO | Reason for lumber and spools of cable at Washington County Fair Park

November 28, 2021 – Town of Polk, WI – American Transmission Company, a firm that runs the high-voltage electric grid for two-thirds of the state of Wisconsin, is leasing space at Washington County Fair Park.

For the past two months motorists on Highway 45 and Pleasant Valley Road have seen the stacks of lumber and heaps of tubing piled on several acres of the Fair Park property.

power, electric, outage, park

“It’s our ATC project,” said field specialist Michael Londo. “Our planning group determined we needed to improve the system which includes 10,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines.”

ATC is renting about 10 acres from the Fair Park. It’s a central location for all the equipment needed to rebuild the 130,000-volt transmission line that runs from St. Lawrence to the south side of West Bend.

Fair Park

“We’re actually repairing or upgrading about 11 miles of transmission line,” Londo said. “All those parts you see accumulating out there, those are the parts to be installed new.”

Londo explained the big spools of cable is the actual power-carrying conductor.

“Only half of its here. We’re expecting another eight great big spools of cable over the next couple of days from Alabama,” he said.

ATC chose to lease space at the Fair Park because of the size of the acreage available and the location.

“We had originally chosen a lay-down area just off Kettle Moraine Drive. But the conditions were muddy and mucky and when we think of the number of loads of gravel, we would have to pay for just to make that lay-down area usable, it could be a phenomenal cost,” Londo said.

The Fair Park location was available and not physically in the path of the line.

Questioned whether the location to Highway 45 was beneficial, Londo said, not really since his trucks have to travel country roads.

“You noticed all those massive pile of big pieces of wood with red on, those are mats and those are actually laid out as a roadway for the length of the work we’re doing,” he said. “We will actually drive on those mats instead of the ground. So, it minimizes the effects on the ground.”

Fair Park

The polls are 122 wooden poles and the spools of cables are about 17,000 feet and there are 16 spools.

“You need 11 miles of line times three, because there’s three phase conductors,” Londo said.

The upgrade, according to Londo, is being done because the planning group looked out 10 years.

“They took a number of items into consideration like whether the electrical load in the area is growing and they project that out based on the statistical information. It is a 10-year process from the time it goes on the drawing board until the time it goes to all the different meetings and all the public gets to weigh in on where the line is going to go and that kind of stuff.

“Then the Public Service Commission actually orders us to build the line. So, our planning group has determined this line in its present capacity is not adequate and it needs to be upgraded.”

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