NRE worker working on powerlines
Licking County, Ohio

New River Electrical partners with Energy Co-op on 69kv Transmission Line in Licking County, Ohio

Every project that comes our way is important, but sometimes projects have a special meaning for us and our crews. Our work on the 69kV transmission line in Licking County, Ohio, is one of those.

Partnering with the Energy Cooperative, our crews installed a new 7-mile long, 69kv overhead line in Licking County. “For a number of years, we’ve been working with the Energy Co-op, expanding their 69kv system,” says Jacob Grice, VP Overhead Line at New River Electrical.

“This project specifically was designed to improve the reliability to our western Licking County region footprint,” says Josh Filler, VP & COO Energy Cooperative, “so it’s important for our members because it’s a little harder and more costly to get to these areas, and we’ve committed to do that and provide a reliable service for them.”

Not only was this project important because it supports the work of our long-time partners, but it also invests in the communities where many of our employees live. “This project really is in our backyard. Many of our employees live and work in Licking County,” says Grice.

As special as the project was, it came with its share of challenges that our crews had to work to overcome. The overhead line paralleled a very busy road that Licking County residents use daily to get to and from work, school, and the grocery store. We wanted to limit any potential negative impact of our work on the people who use this road, so we established traffic control plans to perform the work safely while maintaining the flow of traffic without incident.

“Keeping everyone safe was a priority, so we elected to build a temporary access road so that we were able to get our crews off of the road to limit interaction with the traveling public,” explains Grice.

We were also asked to work on an aggressive timeline. “Our materials deliveries weren’t going to be in until December 2021, and they were shooting to have the entire 7-mile line done by mid-April,” says Grice.

Two utility workers in elevated bucket trucks are working on power lines beside a road with traffic.

That’s why we put three of our most tenured foremen on the job. “We’ve got a lot of experience on this job,” says Josh Hopkins, Field Operations Manager. “Our three foremen on the project, Brian Little, Joe Latham, and Justin McPeak, have worked together for years, and their experience and teamwork really showed.”

“If you watch them work, they know one another, how the other one works and how their crews’ work. They anticipate what each other is planning to do. When you get this kind of experience on the job, it leads to an efficient and well-executed project from start to finish,” says Grice.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done and continue to do alongside the Energy Co-op to support the community in Licking County, Ohio. We look forward to continuing to set the standard in our work for future projects.