Getting it lined up

Construction on the CapX2020 power line project is making good time, and area residents will likely see transmission poles going up in Lyon County this summer. Randy Fordice of Great River Energy said construction on the transmission line is moving westward from Redwood County to the substation south of Marshall.

On Friday, construction crews were busy working along 290th Street in rural Lyon County, drilling holes and pouring concrete for the foundations of 150-foot transmission poles.

Each foundation extends about 40 feet beneath the surface of the ground, Fordice said. Later on, workers will attach anchor bolts for the transmission poles, and use cranes to put the poles in place.

The CapX2020 project is designed to transmit electricity between Brookings County, S.D., and Hampton to help meet growing demand for power in the state. Fordice said construction on the project has not really been slowed by wet conditions this spring, as workers were able to complete a lot of construction over the winter months.

Segments of the line in Renville and Scott counties will be among the first completed in the project, Fordice said. A portion of the line running from Franklin to the Lyon County substation east of Marshall will be finished this year, and lines running west to the Minnesota border and north to Granite Falls will be built in 2014. Overall completion of the transmission line is set for 2015.

It takes a lot of heavy equipment to build the transmission poles, but Fordice said the work should have little impact on traffic in Lyon County. Most of the construction work is moving within 150-foot easements, set back from roads. The easements extend 75 feet from each side of the transmission pole sites, he said. That does cut into farm fields, but Fordice said land owners will be paid damages for loss of crops, and land reclamation is planned for soil compacted by construction equipment.

Fordice said construction on the CapX2020 project did lead to some temporary road closings in the Belle Plaine area. In rural areas with more space and less traffic, closed roads likely won’t be necessary. However, he said drivers should still keep an eye out for construction zones or signage along the transmission line route.

Detailed maps of the transmission line route through Lyon County are available on the CapX2020 website,