A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro says work is progressing well on a new transmission complex that zigzags its way through southeastern Manitoba.
Bruce Owen is referring to the St. Vital Transmission Complex and the portion that runs from Highway 52 to Letellier. The transmission line begins at the De Salaberry East Station, just east of Highway 59 and then runs south all the way to the Letellier Station. Construction started in September of 2021.
Owen says as of last week there were 165 of the 203 towers already installed. There is approximately 80 kilometres of conductor stringing that is required and about half that work is now complete. Owen notes they are aiming to have the stringing wrapped up by mid-October, though he says weather could cause delays.
Stringing is currently in the St. Pierre area and so motorists can expect temporary construction zones and reduced speeds where the line crosses major roadways, including Highway 59 south of St. Pierre. Motorists are asked to please respect the reduced speed limits and to exercise additional caution in these construction zones.
Unlike the Bipole III project, Owen says work along the St. Vital Transmission Complex does not involve helicopters. He notes stringing is done with the use of large equipment to "thread the needle."
Owen also reminds residents that the work involves fusing metal conductor lines together. In order to fuse the conductor lines, crews use an implosion sleeve to safely and effectively create a permanent, high quality connection. An implosion sleeve makes a loud noise with a flash similar to a firework.
According to Owen, Manitoba Hydro is hoping to have the new transmission line go into service later this fall. He notes the line is being built to increase the reliability in a rapidly growing area of the province.
"In order to not only meet the growth that's occurred, but to help the communities to plan for future growth, we need to have that power supply in place," he adds.