News

Helicopter propels power line

An Industrial accident Saturday morning shut down the installation of the Northwest Transmission Line towers for the day, with early reports saying that a worker lost a finger.

Before the mishap occurred production using a massive helicopter had gotten off to a faster-than-expected start. An Erickson Aircrane helicopter arrived in Terrace July 8 and was at work the next day following safety training sessions with crews from Valard, the transmission line's main construction contractor.

Nearly 900 of the towers will be lifted into place along the 344km transmission line route over several work periods between now and the fall. The steel hydro towers vary in weight between 12,000 and 17,000 pounds, a task the Aircrane can accomplish because of its 20,000 pound lift capacity.

In all, the Northwest Transmission Line will consist of just over 1,100 towers, bringing electricity into the northwestern section of B.C. to spur industrial development.

While not exactly fuel efficient – the Aircrane burns 500 gallons of fuel an hour – it was seen as the most efficient way to lift preconstructed towers quickly to their foundation sites. Before its trip to Terrace on July 8 the aircraft was being used for a coastal logging job in southern B.C.

The goal is to lift as many as 20 towers a day with a goal set of placing 160 towers in this first period of helicopter work.

Crews began working north of BC Hydro's Skeena Substation just south of Terrace. Once all the towers are in place, Valard linemen will work with smaller helicopters to string the power lines from tower to tower, with completion of the line scheduled for Spring 2014.

Lakelse Air is supplying smaller helicopters to fly about 50 Valard workers in and out of the tower installation sites.

They were on hand when the Aircrane touched down for safety training related to working with and around both it and smaller helicopters.

“We want to make sure about the hazards ... lots of people are local and haven't had exposure to this kind of work,” said Valard safety specialist Hayley McNeil of the training.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Terrace public school students back in the classroom Monday
 
Paint Prince Rupert organizer receives BC Achievement Award.
 
Harvey Taylor April 9, 1953 September 18, 2013
Fees persuade most smart meter holdouts
 
Sentencing delayed for gruesome attack on South Okanagan woman
 
Bond lays out blueprint for jobs
B.C. teachers endorse six-year deal, 86 per cent in favour (with VIDEO)
 
BCTF touts deal in email to members
 
BC Ferries to cut routes and senior discount, test slot machines between Island-Lower Mainland

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.