Rugged hillside terrain and high altitudes create a challenging drilling environment, and require expertise in helicopter-supported drilling. Crux will serve as the general contractor for foundation work and will construct steel cap micropile foundations for all 13 tubular steel pole structures.
The 1.6-mile distribution line is located near Yosemite National Park and transports power from the Poole Power Plant to Lake Ellery. Topography and ground conditions do not permit conventional access to the area, requiring helicopter construction techniques.
Elevations along the alignment range from approximately 7,800 feet to 9,670 feet, creating challenging helicopter conditions and limiting the construction season to a small window during the summer. Crux has significant experience with helicopter-supported drilling projects, many in high-altitude locations, and expects to complete the project within the allotted time frame.
“Altitude will definitely be a factor in operations, but we do not expect to come up against any challenges we haven’t seen in the past,” says Crux Vice President, Scott Tunison. “We’ve been using helicopter support for tower foundation construction since 2004 and safety is always a top priority.”
The steel poles will be installed to replace existing lattice towers on the alignment. Crux expects construction to begin in July 2012 and last approximately 30 days.