American Transmission Co.

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New Bucks arena construction progresses with ATC reps on site for underground transmission line safety

By Chris Dailey, Team Leader, Transmission Line Maintenance

The $524 million Milwaukee Bucks arena is nearly 80 percent complete. It’s quite a change to the Milwaukee area landscape. ATC owns two major underground transmission lines that pass through the project area. From planning to execution, ATC has had significant involvement promoting safety around ATC’s underground electric transmission lines during the arena’s construction.

ATC operates multiple 138,000-volt high-pressure, fluid-filled underground transmission circuits that are critical to powering the downtown Milwaukee area. Two of those transmission circuits pass through the project area for the new arena. To coordinate safe work around underground electric transmission lines, ATC met with the arena design team during the planning phase of the project. Along the way, numerous detailed plans were submitted to Lori Kolbow, senior technical transmission line services specialist within ATC’s asset management department. Kolbow has detailed knowledge of encroachment issues with underground assets. With some minor adjustments and refinements along the way, ATC approved the work around ATC’s underground transmission lines and planned to have an ATC representative on site for work around those facilities.

Ron Latus, senior underground transmission line coordinator within ATC’s asset maintenance department, provided field oversight. He protected ATC lines and the safety of others while numerous contractors worked. Asset protection is paramount with these types of transmission lines due to the high voltage and high fluid pressures. Latus attended the weekly site meetings to help facilitate construction coordination and oversee contractors installing the supporting infrastructure. ATC’s lines were exposed numerous times to assure the lines were correctly identified while work took place. When it was time to bury the exposed portions of the lines, Latus ensured a special backfill material was used that would prevent the lines from overheating in the future.

As the project wraps up, the work impacting ATC lines is mostly related to landscaping and aesthetics. Bushes, water features and media trailer interconnect pods are the final phases that will require ATC oversight.

Watch this video to learn more about how ATC works to help excavators dig safely around underground transmission assets.

Staying safe while working around electric transmission lines

Editor’s note: ATC applauds the Milwaukee Bucks’ progress on the new arena. We are glad to partner with the Bucks in the community through our Trees for Threes partnership, which facilities a tree planting at schools throughout Wisconsin for each three-point shot the Bucks make at home during the 2017-2018 regular season.