ITCTransmission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company, celebrated the start of construction of its 140-mile Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line with an event aimed at recognizing the cooperative efforts of contractors, vendors, local officials and community leaders in Michigan's Thumb area to advance the project.
ITC hosted the celebration outside its new Bauer substation at the western end of the 345,000-volt line in Tuscola County. Bauer is one of four new substations being built for the project.
Construction is just getting underway on the first transmission line segment, a 62-mile segment from Bauer to the new Rapson substation site in Huron County, east of Bad Axe. The Tuscola County section will cover approximately 25 miles.
"The Thumb Loop project is the largest single project we have ever undertaken and is critical to supporting transmission upgrades in this region of Michigan," said Gregory Ioanidis, president of ITC Michigan. "Our Michigan-based contractor, M.J. Electric, is off to a great start with the project. We're also enjoying excellent support from local vendors and suppliers who are providing support services and products. We appreciate the ongoing cooperation of local officials and community leaders. They're all important to the success of the Thumb Loop project."
ITC estimates that the current phase of Thumb Loop construction is providing more than 70 direct employment jobs, including contractors, vendors and suppliers, many of which are local. The area economy benefits from the demand for motel rooms, restaurants, concrete, hardware, fuel, gravel and trucking services, among other needs.
Line construction on the Phase 1 segment will continue into 2013. Crews are drilling and pouring concrete pole foundations and installing steel monopole and lattice structures. Stringing of the conductors (wires) will begin later in the summer.
ITC has worked with landowners along the route to negotiate easement agreements and establish access points for equipment and materials along the 200-foot-wide transmission corridor.