Built in 1913, the Meppin-Quincy 138kV line was one of the oldest transmission lines in this utility’s system. Through the years, some of the steel members were removed for various reasons. Many structures had been altered by making all the conductor supports into floating dead ends to gain ground clearance. These locations also were missing some steel members.
To order the replacement steel from a supplier would have taken too long to get the steel produced and galvanized, delaying completion of the project. J.F. Electric proposed removing the proper size steel from structures that did not need these pieces for structural strength and installing those pieces in the structures that were missing and in need of the steel.
Crews developed a system where they removed the unneeded steel from some structures and installed them into those that needed re-enforcing during rollering and prior to the stringing process. The utility provided new bolts for the installation of the steel, allowing the project to continue.
Improper positioning of the conductors was another issue that surfaced as the crews performed their task. The line was originally configured as a double circuit 138kV line with both circuits being 300MCM copper conductors with one static in the middle of the towers. The solution that was proposed and accepted by the client involved adding a shackle to the insulator string that allowed the shoes for the conductors to be positioned properly.
Another suggestion that was accepted involved relocating some of the fiber splice box locations due to accessibility and access for maintenance. Though J.F. Electric’s original bid wasn’t among the lowest, they safely completed the project with seven days to spare using less manpower than expected.
According to the Construction Supervisor who was inspecting the work, “Inspecting J.F. Electric’s work on this is boring. There were no go-backs!”
Yet another example of being the best “value” rather than cheapest!