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Ground protection for valuable agribusiness

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Job Description: Rebuild existing transmission circuit
Duration: 2018-2020

Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E/KU) are part of the PPL Corporation, serving nearly 1.3 million people in dozens of counties across Kentucky and Virginia.


The utility needed to completely rebuild existing transmission circuits to prevent large scale-outages and ensure excellent customer service. These improvements required establishing safe access over a long distance, much of it impacting local landowners. This project was the first of several major system improvement projects in the LG&E/KU service area near Owensboro, Kentucky.


The size of the rebuild covered a large area — 25 miles of right of way. Unexpected heavy rainfall over several months produced extremely saturated conditions in the floodplain agricultural fields of the area. Agriculture is a vital income source in this part of Kentucky. Landowners were concerned that construction activities would cause irreversible damage to their soil and impact future crop yield.


The Sterling team participated in the detailed planning of this project along with staff from LG&E/KU, AECOM, and William E. Groves Construction, Inc. As part of the plan, Sterling used 3,000 TerraLam 300 access mats to build temporary access roads and construction pads for the construction crews to replace the utility’s aging wood poles with steel and install modern conductors. A mat connection system was implemented to keep the mats together under extreme flooding conditions.

Despite daunting weather conditions, Sterling kept the project on schedule and initial responses from landowners has been positive. The utility experienced cost savings as well. By using TerraLam 300 instead of heavier timber mats, they realized a 50% savings in freight costs delivering mats to the project.


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