During the month of August work was completed to reconfigure the attachment of lines on 8 towers in the transmission line from Terror Lake to the Airport Substation. These towers are in an isolated stretch of line about four miles east of the Terror Lake Powerhouse headed up the west side of the mountains towards town. Tom Walters flying Maritime‘s helicopter was used to get personnel and equipment to the site of each pole. Here the helicopter is on the ground close to tower #28. Towers #27, 26, and 25 are in the upper right corner of the picture.
Google Earth image of the mountianside where the towers are located.
Starting to get ahold of the line on tower #27. Rocky Fraser top and Shane Lotzer bottom on tower. The work on seven of the eight towers was done with the line still energized so that power from Terror Lake to town would not be interrupted which would require the diesel generators to run. All work is done with fiberglass “hot sticks” and the lineman must remain more than four feet from the conductor which is energized with 138,000 volts. Link Stick attached from top of tower to the conductor with block and tackle.
Wire tong attached to conductor from the tower near the bottom cross arms. The wire tong also was a block and tackle to the tower rigged to push away from the tower so that when worked in unison with the link stick above, the conductor can be moved up and down as well as left and right. The conductor is moved out from the tower and down from the top insulator far enough that the lineman can work on the insulator without being within four feet of the conductor. Rocky Fraser is on the cross arm getting ready to attach the fiberglass ladder to be able to get down and work on the insulator. Shane Lotzer on the tower.
Again at tower #26 Shane Lotzer, behind the tower, and Chul Gibbs pull on the hand line to raise the insulator as Mike Williams, with back to camera, makes sure the new insulator does not hit the rocks and get chipped leaving the ground.
Tower #27 is done except for cleanup. New V insulator installed and conductor attached to insulator. Rocky Fraser top and Shane Lotzer behind tower at cross arm are finishing up removing rigging. Then it will be time to remove ladder sections from the tower so they can be used on the next one.
Tower #26 was on a sharp ridge with little room to work. The crew was dropped off up the ridge and had to cut their way through the brush about a quarter mile to reach the Tower. Ken Billick of Global Live Line was here at the start of the project providing training for working on the towers with the transmission line energized. Ken has worked on projects all over the world in 26 different countries and he said he has seen everything in the way of remote jobs, jobs on steep ground, brushy jobs, and locations with limited work area around the tower, but this spot was the worst he has seen because it had every one of these factors all combined at one tower. 240 feet down to the bottom of the draw on the left and 150 feet down on the right.
Tower #26 was the only tower worked with the power turned off. A couple hundred feet towards town from the tower the conductor was damaged and two strands had unraveled about eight to ten feet. The power from Terror Lake was shut down for the day so that the conductor could be patched.
Thanks to our crews who worked in difficult terrain this summer to keep our system in good shape and keep the power flowing from Teror Lake to Kodiak.