Metal Poles To Replace Wooden Transmission Towers In North Count

Metal Poles To Replace Wooden Transmission Towers In North Country

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It's called Smart Path and phase one would do away with wooden transmission towers. Metal monopoles will replace them and that will mean jobs.

“We're going to have to hire apprentices and train new men. It's actually going to draw in linemen from other jurisdictions,” said Colby Czajak, IBEW Local 1249 assistant business manager.

The New York Power Authority wants to start construction in 2020. It would take three years to complete. Towers and lines would be replaced from Massena to Croghan.

“A project like this provides stability. It's long term. A tremendous amount of our membership is local from the area here,” said Czajak.

A hearing on the project was held Thursday in Canton. Existing easements would be used. The sole exception would be a reroute of lines around SUNY Canton's campus.

In some places, wooden poles are more than 75 years old. The metal monopoles that will replace them will be far sleeker and they'll need far fewer of them.

That will be good for farms where easements cross fields. Farmers came to Thursday's hearing. The Public Service Commission says public comments count.

“They're reviewed by department staff and the other parties in the process as well as the commission when they go to make their decision,” said Anthony Belsito, New York State Department of Public Service administrative law judge.

The new lines will be capable of carrying more voltage than current ones. Phase two of the project would rebuild substations.

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