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Rockdale-West Middleton Transmission Line Project
The Rockdale-West Middleton Transmission Line is an approved 345kV AC line to be built by American Transmission Company (ATC) in Dane County, Wisconsin in order to meet growing demands for electricity. Mitigation efforts for the 32-mile line focus on avoiding agricultural lands, reducing visual impacts, and protecting water and wetlands.
- Agriculture: Of four proposed routes, the selected alternative follows a highway that cuts through the southern part of the city of Madison, avoiding farm lands in more rural parts of the county. This alternative crossed the least amount of agricultural lands, satisfying citizen groups wanting to protect the rural landscape.
- Visual impacts: The selected route will traverse the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and the city-owned Odana Hills golf course—both areas where visual impacts will be mitigated. At the arboretum, ATC will use shorter transmission towers that will not disrupt the view of the tree line. The arboretum towers will stand 90-110 feet tall, in contrast to standard towers, which are 120-150 feet tall. At the golf course, poles will be built closer together, and their arms will hang farther over the Beltline to minimize the need to cut down trees on the golf course itself. Landscaping will help to hide the electrical equipment from the view of golfers.
- Water and wetlands: Wildlife concerns include bird collisions in important flyways and potential conflicts with the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle. ATC will install bird flight diverters in key areas to reduce avian collisions. The company will avoid working in turtle habitat during their active period from March 15 to November 1. When work must occur in turtle habitat during the active period, ATC will install an exclusion fence to protect turtles.
American Transmission Company is currently completing the design phase and acquiring necessary easements. The project is slated for completion in 2013.
- American Transmission Company Rockdale-West Middleton Project Website
- Rockdale-West Middleton 345kV Transmission Project Planning Scope Document:http://psc.wi.gov/ PSC Docket No. 137-CE-147, October 15, 2007.
- Rockdale to West Middleton Project Final Environmental Impact Statement:http://psc.wi.gov/ PSC Docket No. 137-CE-147. February 2009.
Organization: American Transmission Company
Planning Phase: Project Planning (siting, mitigation, avian protection)