LCRA continues work on transmission lines



Lower Colorado River Authority crews continue working on new utility lines in Four Points.

LCRA crews are working to rebuild a 14-mile transmission line that stretches from Braker Lane and North Lamar Boulevard to Mansfield Dam, according to LCRA project manager John Spencer.

The $17 million project began in August and should be complete by May 2015. Spencer said it is necessary to meet growing electricity demands in Austin.

The transmission line crosses RM 2222 and also RM 620 just east of Steiner Ranch Boulevard, then goes southwest, crossing over Steiner Ranch Boulevard and North Quinlan Park Road, and ends at Mansfield Dam at the Marshall Ford substation.

“The project is about 50 percent complete and is expected to be fully completed by May. Crews are currently working in and near Steiner Ranch installing the new wire and should be complete in this area by March,” said Clara Tuma, LCRA spokesperson.

The project will include 114 new structures, which are poles, but some structures include more than one pole.

The line that is being replaced is over 50 years old.

“That line, if we didn’t upgrade, is one that could overload,” Spencer said.

Spencer compared the project to increasing the capacity of a two-lane road to a five-lane road. While this is a stand-alone project and the only one LCRA is currently working on, he said similar projects are occurring through the state to meet the growing population demands.

He said electricity customers should not notice any impact to their service due to the work. In addition to the work on the transmission line, the project also includes upgrades to the substations at each end of the line.

To reduce the impact on the surrounding area, he said crews are implementing standard environmental controls as well as avoiding restricted bird habitats.