O&R PROJECT SHIFTS INTO ‘HIGH’ GEAR WITH HELICOPTER HELP

O&R is scheduled to shift into “high” gear this week as helicopters are deployed to help high-voltage line technicians install new cable at the tops of 130-feet-tall electric transmission towers in Ramapo where a new $11-million electric transmission circuit is under construction.

The circuit will run through the towns of Ramapo, Tuxedo, Warwick and Chester on existing rights-of-way and will provide a service reliability benefit to 110,000 customers. O&R has been conducting vegetation management and civil engineering work along these rights-of-way for some time in preparation for this project.

This new 345kV circuit will be added onto existing Con Edison towers that carry bulk electricity approximately 15 miles between an electric transmission substation located in Ramapo and an electric transmission substation in Chester.

The helicopters and specially trained aerial linemen from Haverfield Aviation will be transporting materials to the tops of the structures in preparation for wire pulling activities, pulling ropes between structures and landing aerial linemen on the structure to clip in the wires. The aerial linemen work from the skid of the aircraft on an aerial work platform attached to the aircraft, and, at times, on the end of a safety harness attached to the aircraft.

Helicopter landing zones are to be located at strategic locations along the project’s right-of-way, mainly on Con Edison property. All line materials will be cleared from the landing zones overnight with the possible exception of those on Con Edison property. The helicopters will be kept at a local airport overnight to allow aircraft maintenance personnel to perform required maintenance.

The work is scheduled to begin Oct. 15, weather permitting and last for three months. The work is expected to be performed dawn to dusk seven days per week to start, and then drop down to six days per week as the project progresses.

Beginning last week, high-voltage line technicians worked on three sections of the existing line within this project. They will be measuring the line to make sure that it has the correct tension on it for maximum performance.