John Ribardo, Public Service Electric & Gas, and Steve Davidow, Crux Subsurface | T&D World Magazine
A steadily increasing demand for power has introduced a number of unique design and construction challenges within the overhead transmission sector, many of them environmental. The routing and siting process for transmission line construction is often extensive and time-consuming, requiring close coordination with numerous regulatory agencies. Although utilities strive to use existing rights-of-way (ROW), and are often successful, extensive alternate route analyses are typically required prior to gaining approval.
Environmental analysis of new routes or multiple routes can add significant time to the permitting process. Once routing and permitting have been approved, utilities and their consultants and contractors are faced with the challenge of constructing the alignment within the limitations set forth in each of the permits.