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TRC Project No. 503811

EPE AIP 345 kV Rebuild Project

Overall Project Description

Prepared for:

April 2, 2024

Executive Summary

The Macho Springs – Springerville 345kV rebuild project, located in the northern region of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, will include replacing an approximate total of two hundred ninety-nine (299) structures which include the following:

  • Two hundred ninety-three (293) wood H-Frame structures with weathered steel H-frames,
  • Three (3) wood three-pole Running Angle structures with new weathered steel three pole structures .
  • Three (3) wood three-pole Dead-end structures with weathered steel three pole Dead-end structures.
  • Replacement of 345kV insulator assemblies for approximately thirty-sixty (36) existing lattice tower structures.

Project construction was started on June 29, 2023 and was completed on April 2, 2024.

Environmental Considerations

As work to replace the transmission wood poles with new weathered steel poles crosses land owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), State of New Mexico land and private land managed by local ranchers, careful consideration and approval from these agencies/land owners had to be integrated into the work flow of the project.  This included consideration along the transmission line right of way (ROW) for the use of access roads of various types, consideration of wildlife and their habitat and nesting/roosting requirements, and, consideration of local ranchers and their livestock and grazing lands.  All of these environmental Stakeholders had specific requirements that the project and construction team carefully followed so as leave the land that the transmission line traversed in as near to as-found conditions as when the project started.  Full time Environmental Inspectors were employed by EPE to ensure that these requirements were followed and met during the course of the project.

The Macho Springs – Springerville 345kV rebuild project is approximately 128 miles in total length and will be constructed in three (3) phases over an estimated eight-month construction period.

Sequence of Work

Work proceeded in the following order for each structure that was being replaced:

  • Civil survey of access roads to each transmission tower to verify equipment can pass through
  • Drill structure pole foundation holes
  • Spot Material to each site location for the erection of new steel poles
  • Set structure base in newly drilled holes
  • Top pole structures and re-attach existing 345 kV conductors to new steel structures
  • Remove and dispose of old wood poles
  • Provide reclamation services to return landscape to as found conditions

See pie charts and line graphs that follow for work progress on each construction phase

The three phases of construction are as follows:

  • Phase 1 construction is approximately 23.7 miles long and will consist of replacing one-hundred-fifty-seven (157) structures from structure 972A to structure 976 and from structure 1006 to structure 1159.
  • Phase 2 construction is approximately 14.2 miles long and will consist of replacing eighty-five (85) structures from structure 852A to structure 937.
  • Phase 3 construction is approximately 12 miles long and will consist of replacing fifty-seven (57) from structure 701 to structure 775. During EPE’s Clearance window between Oct 30 to Dec 8, 2023 contractors will replace the 345 kV insulators on thirty-six transmission lattice towers. This latter work will be executed with the use of helicopters due to rugged terrain that the lattice towers are located in.

Construction Status

Construction bids were received and award made on May 11, 2023 to Summit Line Construction. PO for this construction work from EPE to Summit Line was approved on June 16, 2023. Project held a pre-construction kick-off meeting at the site (Laydown Yard 1) on June 28, 2023. Summit Line began construction on June 29, 2023.

The following activities have been completed during the construction phase of the project which lasted from June 29, 2023 through December 15, 2023.

  • Staking work has been completed for all three phases of construction on October 7, 2023.
  • Material deliveries started in July from Valmont and were 100% completed for Phase I in deliveries by August 25, 2023. Valmont’s Phase II deliveries started in late August 2023 and were completed by October 25, 2023.
  • Summit Line’s civil work and drilling activities began in earnest by the first week of July and has progressed through the Phase I, II and III construction areas.
  • Construction of the concrete foundations for 18 poles related to Running Angle and Dead End poles were completed by October 30, 2023.
  • Thru December 4, 2023 all three phases of construction have 100% of the drilling of the foundation holes completed.
  • Helicopter work replacing insulators on structures was completed on November 14, 2023
  • 100% of the Phase I, II and III tangent structures have been completed as of December 15, 2023.
  • The project completed its planned Clearance where the lines were de-energized as required by EPE on December 15, 2023.

The construction of the project is now 100% complete with respect to the installation of 299 new transmission poles and 100% complete with respect to the replacement of insulators on 36 towers.

Reclamation work which began on November 29, 2023 is 100% complete for all three Phases as of February 18, 2024.

Weather delays in January, early February and mid-March 2024 had some impact on final wreck-out and re-seeding activities. Wreck-Out (removing old wood poles from site) started in November and is 100% complete for all three Phases as of March 13, 2024. Re-seeding of up to 59 acres of land started on January 10, 2024. All three phases were completed on March 31, 2024 All construction work was completed on March 31, 2024.  Over 58,000 hrs of construction and inspection efforts were put in to complete the project with no safety incidents.  The project Team has demobilized from the site on April 2, 2024. EPE will be monitoring the re-seeding progress through the growing season and if necessary, the contractor will come back within the next year to take care of any areas that did not fully germinate.

Snow in March 2024

Road Protection

Straw Bale Stockpile for Re-seeding

Tackifier & Re-seeding at Str 1023

Re-seeding at Str 702

Storage Yard 2 Demobilization




phase 3

phase 3 chart



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