At its regularly scheduled monthly meeting July 11, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Board of Directors approved the construction contract for a new 80-mi transmission line. The contract was awarded to L.E. Myers Co. of Marshalltown, Iowa, for slightly less than $35 million. Construction is to begin next month with completion expected in June 2009.

The new transmission line is part of NPPD’s Electric Transmission Reliability (ETR) Project for East-Central Nebraska. The ETR Project will help ensure the continued reliable delivery of electric energy to Nebraska homes, businesses and industry. The project will also help meet the growing use of energy by NPPD’s wholesale and retail customers.

The construction contract calls for building 80 mi of high-voltage transmission line, with termination points north of Columbus and west of Lincoln. Construction along the line route will be done in segments, with the first segment beginning near Rising City and proceeding north to the Platte River. Right-of-way easement acquisition for the new line has been ongoing in Platte and Butler counties. Easement acquisition in these two counties is nearing 85 percent complete. Project right-of-way agents are set to begin acquiring easements in Seward County soon, with Lancaster County to follow.

Most of the new line will feature steel, single-pole structures, with the exception being where the line will cross the Platte River near Columbus, where lattice steel structures will be utilized.

NPPD’s Board also awarded a contract for expansion of two associated substations for $1.7 million to Brink Constructors, Inc., of Rapid City, S.D.