The Journal Gazette
Friday, October 01, 2021 1:00 am

I&M details transmission line project

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Indiana Michigan Power on Thursday said the rebuild of its Fort Wayne-Bluffton transmission line – a $93 million project – should start late next year.

The work, expected to be completed in late 2027, involves:

• Updating about 26 miles of 69-kilovolt electric transmission line between Fort Wayne and Bluffton

• Building about 4 miles of 69-kilovolt electric transmission line southwest of Ossian, between the Uniondale and Kingsland substations

• Building about 12 miles of 69/138-kilovolt double-circuit transmission line from the existing path south of Bluffton, north to Murray substation

• Building the Baer substation in Fort Wayne near Baer Road and Baer Field Thruway.

I&M announced the project in May with a virtual open house and received community feedback through the end of July, a Thursday news release said. After evaluating feedback, land use and environmental impacts, the project team was able to determine a final proposed line route this month.

The upgrade should enhance electrical service for customers “for decades to come,” I&M said. 

Plans call for replacing deteriorating wooden poles along the power line route with modern steel poles, reducing the need for frequent maintenance and improving the line's performance. The new substation and proposed 4-mile power line will also reduce the likelihood of larger, sustained outages and ensure reliable electric service, the news release said.

The company has mailed to area residents details about the project, which includes the townships of Liberty Center, Ossian, Uniondale and Yoder and runs through Allen, Wells and Adams counties.

In coming weeks, affected landowners can expect to receive more information that includes a detailed map of the proposed route location on their property. Right-of-way agents plan to work with affected landowners to discuss necessary easements, access and construction activities.

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