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Ask Matt ... about Duke transmission line project

Crews working for Duke Energy will replace old wooden poles with steel towers. Crews working for Duke Energy will replace old wooden poles with steel towers.

0816 Ask Matt (Duke Transmission lines, fireworks)

with photo

Q. What are all those bucket trucks and equipment doing on the vacant lot on Asheville Highway about three miles north of town?

They’re back! Yes, Duke Energy is back in the transmission line business — though not in the way the utility company planned in the tumultuous summer of 2015. Crews are installing new high voltage transmission lines but from what I gather this is “power line lite.” Duke’s contractor, Southeast Power Corporation of Spartanburg, has leased a staging area on U.S. 25 north of the Balfour school. They will install 4½ miles of 44 KV high voltage transmission line from Horse Shoe to Berkley Park. It’s called a “re-build” project where old wooden vertical transmission poles will be removed and new cable will be strung from steel “H” frame lattice towers. Plans do call for a few monopole towers (single pole) in some locations. All work will be on existing right-of-way.
The old wooden poles that have been holding up the lines for perhaps a half century are 50 to 80 feet in height and the new lattice towers may be about 30 to 40 feet taller. So higher towers but fewer towers. This is the first phase of the project which should be complete by the end of December. The next phase will begin in 2018 and eventually a total of 12 miles of new transmission line will be re-built in Henderson County.
A Duke Energy spokesperson labeled this “a reliability enhancement project to address aging infrastructure and support load growth in the area.” Many county residents will remember the huge land-use fight when Duke rolled out plans for a 45-mile transmission line project through much of Henderson County. Relentless citizen outcry in Henderson County and in South Carolina helped put the brakes on the project but we all knew Duke Energy wasn’t going to fold its tent and walk away.

Q. What is the cost of the annual fireworks display on July 4th at Jackson Park?

Tim Hopkin of our county’s Parks and Recreation Department said that the Independence Day fireworks operation was handled by Zambelli Fireworks for $10,000, which includes the fireworks and the technician in charge. The event was underwritten by Pepsi-Cola, which covered two thirds of the cost. The Henderson County Tourism Development Authority paid the rest.
You may not know that Italian immigrant Antonio Zambelli came to this country is 1893 and started his fireworks business in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Today the family-owned company is a world leader in pyrotechnics.

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