ATC officials present latest changes to route for high voltage transmission lines

Officials from American Transmission Company have come forward with some more changes to the routes they are proposing for a high voltage transmission line between a substation in Bristol and one in Lake Geneva.

Highlights of the most recent changes to the routes within Western Kenosha County include:

  • A return of a line along Highway O south of Highway 50.
  • A possibility of a return to a route along Highway AH west of Highway 83.
  • An alternative to the Highway AH route that would have the line travel father west where it meets Highway 83, then turn north on land west of Salem Town Hall eventually turning north and meeting Highway 50.

ATC communications staff were meeting with local media this week about the status of the route projects. Similar information will be contained in a newsletter scheduled to be mailed to area residents early next week.

ATC had sought to locate a portion of the transmission route that will connect with a substation in Twin Lakes farther west than Highway O but ran into difficulty because much of that land is under review to become part of a federal agricultural conservation easement program, said Alissa Braatz, ATC corporate communications specialist.

Consequently, the route was changed to run along Highway O, which had been part of an earlier proposal. The line is now proposed to run past land of 16 property owners and Wheatland Center School along Highway O. If that section of route becomes final, ATC would seek to combine the new transmission line with an already existing line that runs along the highway using a combined pole, Braatz said.

The return of routing the line along Highway AH, instead of south of the homes along the southside of Highway AH was driven by the amount of vegetation clearing that would be needed as well as the number of properties more directly impacted, said Mary Carpenter, another ATC spokesperson. Running the line down Highway 83 and then having it turn west at Highway AH and run along the north side of the road follows an existing distribution line route and impacts fewer property owners, Carpenter said. That route does, however, bring the line route closer to Salem School. School officials had advocated for the line being moved away from the school in the past.

But that segment might become unnecessary if ATC can win approval for a preferred route that would have the line cross Highway 83 at 98th Street, travel west and then turn north up the 256th Avenue right of way crossing Highway AH and continuing north to meet Highway 50. Paddock Lake officials had advocated for this line being routed farther west, perhaps through Silver Lake County Park, to avoid running through the village’s tax incremental financing district along Highway F, south of Highway 50, which Carpenter said was thoroughly studied, but found to be impractical.

Open houses with the latest route proposals will be held in the area in early 2015, Braatz said.

ATC officials say the line is needed to improve electical service reliability and capacity in the area.



One Comment

  1. West of 45 Citizen says:

    (“The line is now proposed to run past land of 16 property owners and Wheatland Center School along Highway O”.) With all the Zeitgeist talk about making our schools safer…..they’re proposing this HV line to run in front of our Wheatland School? There appears to be a lack of concern on the potential negative health effects over time on our kids.

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