American Electric Power’s (AEP) Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Feb. 17 said that it plans the approximate $43m Whitley County Transmission Line Rebuild Project to upgrade the electric transmission network serving the Whitley County area in northeast Indiana.
The company said that the project includes upgrading about 15 miles of 69-kV line.
As noted on a project fact sheet, the project also involves rebuilding the Columbia substation near the intersection of County Road 400 and South 150 East. The project are includes Columbia City, Cleveland, Columbia, Peabody, Richland, and Washington townships in Whitley County, the fact sheet said.
I&M noted in its statement that while it plans to rebuild the line in the existing right of way (ROW), it might need to widen the ROW in some areas.
The existing line consists of deteriorating 60-year-old wooden poles that require frequent maintenance, I&M said, adding that an upgrade to modern steel poles reduces the need for frequent line maintenance and improves the line’s operational performance. The planned substation upgrades also help to reduce the likelihood of larger and sustained community outages, the company said.
I&M said that it expects to begin project construction in spring 2022, and conclude by fall 2023.