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Helicopter, air saw to be used for tree trimming along transmission lines in Columbia, Dane and Rock counties

Aerial work scheduled to start mid-March

MADISON, Wis. – A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw are scheduled to be used beginning this week to trim trees along two transmission lines in Columbia, Dane and Rock counties.

American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc., a company that specializes in aerial tree management along transmission line corridors. The helicopters are equipped with heavy-duty air saws with rotary blades suspended on a 90-foot vertical boom. In some areas, ground crews will be performing additional vegetation removal work this year.

“The helicopter and air saw will be used to side trim trees at the edge of the right-of-way,” said Adam Helminiak, ATC senior vegetation management specialist. “This work will help us ensure the safe and reliable operation of the electric transmission system.”

Tree trimming will occur along portions of a 345,000-volt line that runs from the Columbia Substation near Portage, Wis., to the Rockdale Substation in the Town of Christiana, Wis. Trimming also will be done on portions of a 345-kV line that runs from the Rockdale Substation to the Paddock Substation near Beloit, Wis. Because the work is weather-dependent, flight schedules will vary and may extend into late March.

Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation is key to helping ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,480 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

Note to editors: A video of similar aerial vegetation management work is available on our YouTube channel.

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Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multistate transmission-only utility, American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates more than 10,000 miles of electric transmission lines and approximately 580 substations in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Our transmission network enables the movement of electricity produced from all forms of generation resources to areas where it is needed. Visit our website at

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