The CapX2020 project, which began erection of its transmission line in 2012 by heading eastward, has now begun its westward expansion as it moves into Redwood County.
According to Randy Fordice, project communications coordinator, the transmission line project has started in the county as trees are being cleared in the right of way areas where the poles are going to be placed, and over the next three weeks approximately 50 percent of the foundations for those poles is expected to be completed.
A staging area has also been established near Vesta.
From that staging area, much of the work of Redwood County in both directions is going to be done.
Fordice stressed the fact that those working on the project want to be good neighbors and are working to put together agreements with townships to ensure the roads they use to transport material along the line are in the same shape, or better, when they leave as they were before the first of their trucks began hauling on them.
Fordice said one of the things they want to let people know about are what he called mini-explosions that are going to occur at those placed where a hard-angle turn needs to be made. Those small explosions, said Fordice, sound like a shotgun blast. He added, however, neighbors who reside near where those explosions are going to occur are going to receive advanced warning.
As the project continues west, Fordice said a field office is going to be established in Marshall, and he said that office is going to be open for the public who may have concerns as the project continues.
Fordice anticipated that office would be open some time in May.
Much of the work in Redwood County is going to be done during the spring months through the fall, and Fordice anticipated the work in Redwood County would be done before winter.
Although weather slowed the project down in other areas, Fordice said the Redwood County portion of the project continues to be on schedule. From Redwood County the project continues into Lyon County and then on to the South Dakota border.
“Things are moving along pretty quickly,” Fordice said.
The 345 kV project stretches over 250 miles from Brookings County in South Dakota to Hampton, Minn., and it is a joint initiative of 11 utilities groups. Its mission is to upgrade the electricity transmission grid in the region. Find out more at www.capx2020.com.