Helicopter to string final wire on NPPD’s Axtell to Kansas line

August 8, 2012

Minden – As the 53-mile Axtell to Kansas 345,000-volt Transmission Project nears completion, representatives from Nebraska Public Power District are reemphasizing the project’s safety message.

“There are several safety factors we would like the public to be aware of as we enter the final stages of this project,” said Craig Holthe, senior project manager for NPPD. “The worst thing that could happen is if there were to be a serious accident so close to the end,” he added.

Holthe pointed out the convergence of at least three potentially dangerous conditions. One, corn is tall in the fields, making line-of-sight difficult at some country intersections. Two, children will soon be back in classrooms, and that means additional traffic going to and from school early in the mornings and often late at night. Three, contractors intend to use a helicopter to begin stringing the shield wire for the new transmission line; this may draw attention away from motorists exhibiting safe driving practices at all times.

“We want to avoid summit fever,” Holthe commented. “Not rush to the end, which can and usually does lead to accidents, and stay focused on the task at hand. Our goal now becomes to safely see this project through to its conclusion.”

Holthe praised the safety culture exhibited throughout the project by Brink Constructors, Inc., of Rapid City, South Dakota, the construction contractor for the project. He also thanked area property owners for their cooperation.

“We’ve managed to get this far along by being careful and diligent and working together,” Holthe said.

The Axtell to Kansas 345,000-volt Transmission Project is slated for energizing before the end of the year.