Excellent progress is being made on two sections of the Bipole 3 Transmission Line running through parts of the Red River Valley region.
Scott Powell, spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro, says crews are currently working on what they refer to as the Southern 1 and Southern 2 sections of the line, or S-1 and S-2.
The S-2 section runs from the public utility's Riel Converter Station through to Elm Creek. Along that section of the route, Powell said all the tower foundations and anchors are in place, 97% of the towers have been erected, and crews have strung about 60% of the conductor lines, reaching Highway 75.
Powell noted there may be some short-term traffic disruptions while crews run the line across Highway 75. "Once we get it anchored at the one end and get it across the highway and continue on down the line, it will back to normal."
On the S-1 section, which essentially runs from Elm Creek to Langruth, Powell said about 80% of the foundations are in, and about 10% of the towers have been erected.
He added work will soon ramp up on the S-1 section, noting that in a few short weeks, they will begin using a helicopter to fly in towers. Powell said the helicopter they use to erect the towers is a great time saver, and it also reduces the impact on the surrounding area of each foundation. Powell said seeing towers and lines of this size being strung is a unique thing to see. "Really the last time we did an HVDC line like this was back in the early 1970s on Bipoles 1 and 2."
Powell said the vast majority if not all of the towers along the S-1 section should be in before winter.
Meanwhile, as work continues on the line, Powell encourages people to use caution and slow down when passing near crews. "Not just our crews, but any crew working on a road," said Powell. "Make sure you give way to these folks, they want to get home to their families as well."