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Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 58

ATC team takes on Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for the kids

ATC’s All for The Children team lined up for Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, to help kids receive care and services they need to improve their lives. Employees and family members had fun and raised almost $3,000 in addition to ATC’s bib sponsorship.

  It was chilly as ATC’s team warmed up for the event.

  Family members sporting their team T-shirts.

There was something for everyone, including an 8K run and a 5-mile or 3-mile walk through downtown Milwaukee. Live performers pumped up the crowd with a Radio Disney sing-a-long at the starting line on the Marquette University campus. Various musicians, cheerleaders and local residents were there to encourage the runners and walkers along the way. Afterwards, participants enjoyed music from Mat Kearney and other activities on the Summerfest grounds.

  Walkers take a moment to huddle up and smile.
ATC is proud to support Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and has been a sponsor of this event since 2011. The organization provides many services throughout Wisconsin, including health care, counseling, family resource centers and treatment foster care. Click here to see a map of communities in Wisconsin with CHW services. 

A bird’s eye view of construction on the Zoo Interchange, Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability projects

We’re continuing to make progress on the Zoo Interchange Project, a project to relocate seven overhead 138-kilovolt transmission lines to accommodate expansion and realignment of the interchange. Lattice structures are being replaced with 50 single pole structures, many of which have already been swapped out. The transmission lines west of the interchange were completed and placed into service in May.

Crews were hard at work in late August installing conductor (wires) on the transmission structures on the southern portion of the project. Construction on the lines south of the Zoo Interchange will continue through this fall and winter and will be placed into service this winter.
On the Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project, crews are using wooden construction mats to protect the ground and wetlands from damage by heavy machinery as they work to install transmission foundations and structures along the portion of the line that runs along Underwood Creek Parkway.
Duct instillation work for the underground portion of the line should be completed in September. Foundation work and pole setting for the overhead portion of the project will continue this fall, with wire stringing occurring in late fall. The project is on track to be placed into service in spring 2015.





Osprey have a view from the top on ATC nest platforms

ATC is committed to environmental leadership in all aspects of our business. One of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is through our avian stewardship.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, about 87 percent of Wisconsin’s breeding osprey population nest on platforms. There are more than 100 nesting platforms located on or adjacent to transmission lines in ATC’s service area, and these platforms support successful breeding of this once declining species.

These platforms protect the birds, enhance electric reliability and promote continued recovery of the species. Learn more about how we protect our feathered friends.

We recently spotted two osprey families nesting along our Clear Lake-Woodmin line in northern Wisconsin.

An osprey gets comfy on a nesting platform near our Woodmin Substation.

There are more than 100 nesting platforms located on or near ATC facilities

Madison, Wis., employees and their families also have taken office mascots, toy osprey couple Ozzie and Harriet, out and about “Flat Stanley” style over the years. 

Riding along for Bike to Work Week.
Enjoying the lake breeze on Cana Island, Door County, Wis.

Tagging along for Pesto Fest at Vermont Valley Community Farm.

STIHL Tour des Trees, Day 7 – Aug. 2: Port Washington to Milwaukee

“Hey, it’s Ben Gura again – and I am so happy to say I am writing the final day’s blog while sitting comfortably on my couch at home! I made it safe and sound with only a couple of mechanical issues on the bike. My legs are sore but in a good way – and the rest of my body is happy to be off the bike. 

The last ride day, Saturday, was bittersweet. Everyone was excited to be finished and to ride into the closing ceremony, but also disappointed that we would have to leave all of these new friends we made. The 40 miles went way too fast. I spent the first 20 miles with the fast guys just to see what it was like to put the hammer down and it felt great! The last 20 was a slow processional with a lot of chatter. It presented a great opportunity to say thank you to all of those I had ridden with throughout the week.

At the very last mile, the Team Wisconsin riders moved to the front of the pack to lead the way to Mount Mary College. This is where all of our friends and family had gathered and where the international tree climbing championships were being held. As we turned into the college entrance, the entire road was filled with people cheering and clapping for us. It was a really nice moment to see how happy everyone was to see us. Among those cheering was my family…now that made me smile!!
After hugs and kisses from the family and a quick round of pictures we had the final presentation. The TREE Fund thanked the sponsors and identified the 10 ten individual fund raisers. Team Wisconsin was the top fund raising team which was our goal! The Tour des Trees raised over $500,000 for The TREE Fund this year. I didn’t hit my goal but I am so happy at how close I came. I want to take an opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated to The TREE Fund! It really means a lot to me and your support really does help the trees.
A highlight from this year’s Tour was witnessing the dedication of over 23 trees, and a record number of educational events featuring Professor Elwood Pricklethorn. As riders, we tend to focus on the miles and occasionally we forget about the trees. But every tree that the Tour dedicates is a benefit to the community, environment and ecosystem. Every tree will provide oxygen to a cyclist, a shady spot to rest and a break from the wind. The trees are the reason we ride!  
My favorite part of the Tour was the educational events for the kids. Tour rider Warren Hoselton – aka “Professor Elwood Pricklethorn” does an outstanding job engaging the children and helping them understand the importance of trees. I heard that the Tour entertained over 300 kids during this year’s events. That’s 300 kids who now have an appreciation for “planting the right tree in the right place,” understanding what trees give to the community and hopefully having a desire to do more with trees as they get older. Who knows… maybe one or two of those kids will be foresters when they grow up!
The final tree dedication was at the Mount Mary College grounds, following the presentations. This tree dedication was particularly special because my family was there and my daughter, Morgan, and son, Jake, got to see how silly a group of adults could be. What a great way to end the week! Thank you again to ATC for sponsoring the lunch and educational event in New London. The Tour des Trees really matches our corporate values and I hope that ATC will become a long-term sponsor of this great event.
And thanks to all of you for letting me share my experiences with you during the past week. I’m now fairly certain: this Tour will not be my last…”

STIHL Tour des Trees, Days 5 & 6 – July 31 & Aug. 1: Green Bay to Sturgeon Bay to Port Washington

“Hey everyone – it’s Ben Gura checking in again from the STIHL Tour des Trees. We wrapped up this amazing ride on Saturday (which I’ll have another update on), but I wanted to catch you up from the days prior. Talk about a great pedaling – lovely weather and scenic riding. 
Day five was a blast. It was a short 57 miles from Green Bay to Sturgeon Bay. The day started with a once-in-a-lifetime tree dedication. The City of Green Bay and Bartlett Tree Company had acquired a very special tree. What made this tree so special? Well, it actually derived from the only surviving tree from ground zero. While cleaning up the rubble at the World Trade Center in New York after 9/11, the workers found a pear tree that was still alive. It was the only tree that survived the attack. Only a few trees have been grown from the cuttings of the tree and it is very special for a city to receive it. The dedication in Green Bay took place at a park near the Fox River and the library. The City had commissioned a beautiful memorial for the people from Wisconsin who died in the 9/11 attacks. It really was something to see and will be a great place to visit. 
The day’s riding was uneventful – a few nice rolling hills and a view of Green Bay. We had an early stop in Brussels and then a stop at the home of a Tour rider’s friend, for a nice ice cold beer. Lunch was served at a park right of Green Bay just north of Sturgeon Bay. We got into the hotel so early my room wasn’t ready. But I took advantage of the time by doing some laundry. We only get two jerseys so we need to wash them every couple of days. Some people wash their clothes in the sink while others wear them in the shower to wash them. I’m a fan of the guest washing machine that the hotels have. I also had time for a soak in the hot tub, a trip to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger and ice cream cone, and some more carb loading. We had a tasty outdoor dinner and enjoyed a polka band while we relaxed a bit. The evening’s activities capped off a wonderful day.
Of course, after a short day you have to make up some miles and day six did not disappoint us on that; it was a short 120 miles to Port Washington. I knew this was going to be a long day so I made sure to be up early and ready to roll. A taco truck feed us breakfast burritos, which was a welcome change from our standard breakfast before we rolled out at 7 a.m. The day started with some long climbs out of Door County but as we made it to Lake Michigan things leveled out. We had a slight headwind but I had a good group of riders that I worked with for the whole day. When you get a group of cyclists together that are willing to share the work of the ride, they can cover miles quickly. Our group ranged from 5 to 10 riders throughout the day. We would each take a turns “pulling” the other cyclists for a few miles then drop back into the pace line. 
Sorry for getting my cycling nerd out but there are a few terms that you learn when pack riding. A pace line is a group of cyclists riding in a line. They ride about 3 inches to 3 feet behind the rider in front of them – and obviously, the closer the better. “Taking a turn” or “pulling” is when you are the lead cyclist in the group. The lead rider splits the wind for everyone else. This helps the other riders rest while the lead is pulling. A good “pull” will set a pace that is comfortable for the group and they stick to it without speeding up or slowing down. In our case it was 17 mph. After the leader pulls, they move to the left and fall to the back of the pace line. When you are not in the front you work about 30% less than the lead rider. It’s the best way to get a lot of miles done quickly.
Our day ended around 3 p.m., with 8 hours in the saddle, just before a severe rainstorm with hail hit the hotel! At dinner we had presentations from The TREE Fund, and the rider awards were handed out. After dinner I had to stop for a slice of pizza. For some reason I have been hungry all week…could be the 500 plus miles on a bike?
All for now, and I’ll catch you up on the finale soon!”