CapX2020 construction underway - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

CapX2020 construction underway

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (KTTC) -- Construction crews are setting the foundations for the CapX2020 project near Pine Island.

It's all part of a project to add more than 700 new miles of transmission lines and strengthen the regional power grid.  The crews are laying the path for a 16 mile stretch of the new project.

Driving on U.S. 52 at the south Goodhue County border, you may spot pieces to the puzzle that are the CapX2020 project laid out on the yard.  You'll also see crews hard at work assembling the rebar cages for the foundations to the future power lines. 

Two miles east of Pine Island the process of installing the rebar is underway

"Basically we're building about 150 of these foundations in this 16 mile line," said CapX2020 Communications Manager Tim Carlsgaard. 

The 161kv line, a branch off the main 345kv line, will soon stretch from Pine Island.

"All the way to a substation on the west side of Rochester and existing substation that is already owned by RPU," Carlsgaard said.

This stretch of new power will run parallel to the current one avoiding the need to clear a new corridor.  The plan has been years in the making, however it wasn't until Monday crews started making headway on the footings.

Once the concrete dries, the process will be repeated 150 times until the next step, installing the lines which are expected to be up and energized by summer.

The $1.9 billion project is expected to be complete by 2015.  The main line to Alma is expected to be finished by next year.

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